The UC Davis men’s tennis team demonstrated over the weekend that wins can come in multiple fashions.
The Aggies first bulldozed Swarthmore in Saturday’s matchup and was later pushed to their limits in Sunday’s close win over Sonoma State.
Saturday – UC Davis 7, Swarthmore 0
Against a Division III opponent, the Aggies looked every bit Division I on Saturday, not dropping a single set all afternoon to sweep Swarthmore, 7-0.
“In previous years, we were just beating teams like Swarthmore. Now we are dominating them,” said senior No. 5 Daniel Elefant. “Saturday’s performance really showed how much we have improved.”
The domination began when the Aggies took three quick victories in doubles, with the closest score coming at the No. 3 spot where sophomores Nic Amaroli and Kevian Liang defeated Justin diFeliciantonio and Mark Wee, 8-4.
Continuing the trend, the Aggies captured all six singles matches in straight sets.
The closest singles match came between senior No. 3 Justin Garcia and Mark Wee which Garcia won 6-1, 7-5.
Sunday – UC Davis 4, Sonoma State 3
Had Sunday’s match been an opera, you might have been able to hear the fat lady rehearsing early on in the afternoon.
But just when it seemed to be all but over for the Aggies, they overcame an early deficit and defeated the Seawolves.
“It was definitely nerve wracking when we were down 2-0,” said Elefant. “But we knew we were the better team and could pull out the win.”
Action began as UC Davis dropped the doubles point, losing two out of three matches.
The sole doubles win came from Amaroli and Liang in their close 8-7(4) victory over Logan Bailey and Jeremy Heckley.
The Aggies entered singles play trailing 1-0, and soon fell to a two-game deficit as junior No. 2 Michael Reiser lost to Connor Olson 6-3, 6-1.
Trailing 2-0, the UC Davis’ comeback began.
Sophomore No. 6 Hunter Lee first defeated Quan Vu, 6-3, 6-1, and freshman No. 4 Nick Lopez beat Brett McNulty, 6-4, 6-4.
Now tied 2-2, the Aggies claimed two straight victories, the first coming at No. 5 senior Daniel Elefant. Garcia followed with a close 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2) match-clinching win over Jeff Stollberg.
“Justin was clutch,” Elefant said. “He was definitely the better player, and when it came to the tiebreakers, he just took care of business.”
The Aggies will now have their longest break of the season before facing DePaul on Mar. 28 in Fresno.
Nirvair Kelley can be reached at email@example.com.