By John Nardolillo
UCI Women’s Tennis failed to register a point in a 4-0 loss to Hawaii at Anteater Tennis Stadium this Saturday, but the match was much closer than the final score. Almost all of the matches were highly contested, but the Rainbow Wahine proved more effective in capturing the elusive game and set points.
Despite the outcome, UCI coach Mike Edles believes the ‘Eaters can compete with the top teams in the Big West and overcome their slow start to the season.
“In a lot of these close matches, especially with no-ad scoring, it’s a matter of a point or two that can turn a win into a loss. If we emphasize staying solid with our fundamentals and our attitude, everything will fall into place,” said Edles.
Hawaii took the first doubles match as the number three duo of Paulina Petriskova and Marina Hruba defeated UCI’s Cassidy Branstine and Mazy Wastrous 6-2, but the ‘Eaters answered back with Sarah Gong and Stephanie Hazell taking number one doubles over Sarah Gealer and Klara Pribylova of Hawaii, 6-2. Hawaii narrowly edged out UCI for number two doubles and the doubles point when Roxanne Resma and Cindy Nguyen overcame a deficit late to hand Andrea Duva and Viven Dali the loss, 7-5.
Hawaii’s Roxanne Resma struck first in the singles matches defeating Cassidy Branstine at the number five spot 6-0, 6-1. Hawaii clinched the match after victories at number three and number four singles with Pribylova defeating Watrous and Gealer defeating Hazell with identical 7-5, 6-3 scores. All three of the unfinished matches were in the third and final set.
UCI could not salvage their weekend and dropped to 1-9 on the year with a home loss to the Portland Pilots on Sunday, 4-1. Inclement weather delayed the start of the match one hour and the wind continued to be a factor throughout the day. The Anteaters were again competitive but were unable to capitalize on opportunities to put away their opponents.
Portland’s number one doubles team of Lucia Butkovska and Jelena Lazarevic defeated UCI’s Sarah Gong and Stephanie Hazell 6-2, while Andrea Duva and Vivien Dvali emerged victorious for the ‘Eaters at the number two spot over Maja Mladenovich and Emily Gould, 6-3.
The doubles point came down to the competitive number three matchup where Mazy Watrous and Cassidy Branstine fought hard for UCI but ultimately came up short. Down 5-3, the ‘Eater duo rallied to tie at 5-5 but lost the final two games to lose the set and the doubles point, 7-5.
Branstine put the ‘Eaters on the board after a smooth victory at number six singles in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0, tying the match at 1-1. Portland stormed back to take the points at number two and number three singles, and the Pilots’ Tori Troesch clinched the 4-1 win at the number five spot by defeating Andrea Duva 7-6, 6-3.
The Anteaters have a few days to recover before continuing their home stand against Middle Tennessee on Tuesday at 1:30pm, where they look to end a nine-game losing streak.