Kaitlin Callan has been rotating in and out of the No. 6 singles spot all season.
For this weekend’s Big West Conference Championships, the senior has been penciled in as the clear-cut starter, and on Friday she showed why.
The former La Jolla High School standout defeated senior Audrey Bardot in straight sets, 7-6, 6-0, in the UC Davis women’s tennis team’s 6-1 road loss to No. 70 Nevada (8-10).
“It was great to see her get the win,” said head coach Bill Maze. “She is going to be our No. 6 for the conference championships, so I’m sure that was great for her to get some confidence going into it. It’s always good to get a win before the conference championships.”
Callan’s victory pushed her season record at No. 6 to 4-2 and spoiled the Senior Day of Bardot. Fellow Wolf Pack senior Ly-Huong Dinh faired better, teaming up with sophomore Alice Hall for an 8-2 victory at No. 2 doubles.
“It was sad to see Audrey lose today,” Nevada coach Sylvain Malroux said. “I am proud of both our seniors for what they did during their time with the Wolf Pack. They’re really smart and certain that after getting their degrees, theywill be very successful in life.”
UC Davis (11-11, 3-5) will now shift its focus to postseason play. It will travel to Indian Wells, Calif. to compete in the Big West Championships.
As the No. 6 seed, the Aggies will face third-seeded Cal State Northridge (13-7, 6-2) on Friday at 3 p.m.in first-round action. Due to the four-year transition from Division II to Division I, the contest will be the program’s first playoffmatch since 2003.
“It’s been a long wait,” Maze said. “We’re really excited to be a part of it finally, and I’m excited about that matchup. They’re the favorites, but I’m looking forward to it.”
MICHAEL GEHLKEN can be reached at email@example.com.