The close win on Saturday was sweet.
When it happened again the next day to clinch a spot in the Big West Conference Tournament, the feeling was even better.
Last weekend, the UC Davis women’s tennis team earned a pair of 4-3 victories over Montana State (5-7) and UC Riverside (4-8, 0-5) after falling to Pacific (6-6, 2-0) on Friday. The win over the Highlanders sealed the Aggies‘ a seventh-seed minimum in the conference tournament
The Aggies are now 9-8 overall and 3-2 in Big West play heading into today’s match against Sonoma State. The contest begins at 2 p.m. at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.
Friday – Pacific 5, UC Davis 2
If a tiger ever had to fight a horse in real life, it would be quite a battle royale.
And in their only loss of the weekend, the Aggies made it a battle – putting forth tooth and nail against the Tigers in a near four-hour, 20-minute war.
“It really was a battle,“ coach Bill Maze said. “We were running out of light because we didn’t finish until 6. We just really made them earn it; we battled hard.“
Four singles matches went three sets, and the Aggies were able to pull out half of them for victories but ultimately fell to Pacific, 5-2.
Saturday – UC Davis 4, Montana State 3
The back end of the Aggies‘ roster was the deciding factor in this one, earning victories at the No. 4, 5 and 6 positions.
After UC Davis swept doubles play to earn the first point, the No. 1, 2 and 3 singles slots all went down to the Bobcats.
With the score hanging at 3-1 in favor of the foe, Herzyl Legaspi, Jenna Kappel and Jessica Harris all took it upon themselves to right the course, so to speak.
“Montana State was a stronger team than we expected,” Maze said. “They played us tough and our bottom half really came through for us, so we have to give Herzyl, Jenna and Jessica credit; they handled it well.“
The trio earned back-to-back-to-back two-set victories to give the Aggies the 4-3 advantage over Montana State.
Sunday – UC Davis 4, UC Riverside 3
For the fourth time in the last five matches, the Aggies took care of business – this time by a one-point margin.
UC Davis earned the solid 4-3 win over conference foe UC Riverside thanks to an all-around effort.
The Aggies won two out of three in doubles play to earn the first point, and then the first win of singles came from Dahra Zamudio – her 20th of the season.
With the score at 2-0, the Highlanders responded with a victory at No. 4 but it was too little too late. The Aggies finished them off with two straight wins to seal up the pivotal victory.
“The win was big because it guaranteed us seventh place in the conference and a spot in the tournament,” Maze said.
MATT MILLER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.