Head coachBill Mazefelt it,too.
Sophomore Herzyl Legaspi told assistant coach Sara Morenc she felt like she had just wonafterthe UC Davis women’s tennis teamlostFridayin the first round of the Big West Conference Championships.
“It’s funny because it kind of felt that way,” Maze said. “It was such a great experience,to be legit,to play such a gutsy match in the conference tournament.The result wasn’t that important,believe it or not.It was almost like the experience was bigger than the score.I know it may sound a little cheesy,but it did kind of feel that way.“
Despite two players suffering cramps due to high heat and No.1singles player Randi Schuler spraining her ankle,UC Davis made Cal State Northridge sweat ina4-2loss at theIndianWellsTennisGarden.
“I’m sure Northridge wasn’t happy with how tough we made it on them,” Maze said.“You don’t want to be playing a four-and-a-half hour match in95-degree heat the day before you play a second round match.… We definitely made them earn it.I was proud of[our team] – real proud.“
Both of UC Davis‘ two wins came in singles.Schuler battled through her ankle injury to defeat Victoria Brymer,6-3,6-3.At No.3,senior Robin Guier topped Canna Furuta in straight sets,7-5,6-4,to conclude her Aggie career.
“It was just really nice to see her win the last match of her career,” Maze said.“She has contributed so much to this program.I don’t think she was late one day.Shehas alwaysworked hard,andI think it was her best match of theseason.She wasdown3-0in the first.In the second setshe wasup4-1,got back down to4all,then she refused to give in and won it.“
Fellow senior Kaitlin Callan also showeda fieryresolve,playing through cramps to takeNina Jaworowksi to three sets in No.6singles.
“There were bright spots all the way down the line,” Maze said. “It was great to see.We were so excited to be there.We had a practice session at6o‘clock the night before,and you could just feel the excitement in the air.The team was excited to be there…and it feels like they are really excited about going back to Indian Wells next year.“
Cal State Northridge showed the effects of the Friday marathon,getting swept in the semifinals by UC Irvine,4-0,the next day.Long BeachState won the tournament for thefifth straight year,defeatingUC Irvine in the championship match.
MICHAEL GEHLKEN can be reached email@example.com.XXX