‘Eaters Top Tigers
With the backing of a raucous crowd at the Anteater Tennis Stadium, No. 49 UC Irvine women’s tennis team came through with a close 4-3 win over the University of Pacific.
Pacific kicked things off in the round of doubles by claiming the first point, as Antonella Santeusanio and Regina Suarez dispatched the newly-formed duo of Andrea Duva and Vivien Dvali, 6-1, at No. 3 doubles. UC Irvine’s top singles players, Sarah Gong and Arisha Ladhani, quickly tied things up for the Anteaters by disposing of Gergana Boncheva and Christana Ferrari by 6-1 as well in the No. 2 doubles action. With the doubles point riding on the outcome of No. 1 doubles, UCI’s golden pair of Ali and Kat Facey would once again come through for the Anteaters, defeating Iveta Masarova and Hana Ritterova 6-3 with their solid net game.
In the round of singles, Kat Facey once again made quick work of her opponent, defeating Francis Dean in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Facey’s victory marks her 10th straight win at the No. 3 position for the season, where she has remained undefeated thus far.
“[Coach Edles] asked for me to say a few words to the team, and I just said, ‘I’m not worried about winning and losing anymore,’” said Facey. “It’s weird, because since I’ve not been so worried about it, I’ve been winning a lot more. If I’m gonna lose, I’m gonna play my game, and go out swinging. I’m not gonna play safe and nervous, and afraid to lose. I’m playing to win.”
Freshman Vivien Dvali followed up with a straight set victory of her own, 6-1, 6-3 against Boncheva at No. 5 singles to push the Anteaters to a 3-0 lead in the match score. Continuing the trend of straight-set wins, Ali Facey clinched the win for the Anteaters in an emotionally charged match against Ferrari at the No. 4 singles position.
Pacific bounced back to take the remaining three points in singles, with two of the Tigers coming back to take the match after dropping the opening set, but the victories proved inconsequential with the Anteaters having already secured four points.
Sunday’s win marked a return to form for the Anteaters as two days prior, the team was upstaged by a Eastern Michigan squad that had previously suffered losses to Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge.
“It’s almost like night and day: for one thing, the energy was where it should be,” said UCI head coach Mike Edles on the team’s improved performance. “I think we’re a force to be reckoned with when we’re on our games, it was a good performance, solid.”
The Anteaters will look to maintain their momentum as they host Cal State Fullerton Wednesday, March 4th at 1:30 PM.