Before entering Friday’s match, UC Davis was sitting on a 2-9 first half of the men’s tennis season.
Head coach Daryl Lee, however, could see the potential light at the end of the tunnel.
“Going forward now, in the second part of the season, I’m confident that despite our rough record, we have shown a fighting spirit and a willingness to learn,” he said. “It’s a matter of working at it and following through, and I think we will be able to hold our own.“
Working off of those words, the Aggies pieced together a couple of hard-fought matches on Friday and Sunday afternoon, but ultimately came up short.
Friday – Montana 4, UC Davis 3
Doubles play has been the Aggies strong point this season in the tough Big West Conference, going 12-38 overall.
However, doubles play for the Aggies seemed to falter during Friday’s match, as Montana gave UC Davis a swift sweep and earned the doubles point.
Falling behind 1-0, the Aggies rallied behind the hard-nosed play of senior Michael Reiser at the No. 2 position and the Lee brothers at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.
Both Hunter and Tyler Lee defeated their Grizzlies in single play at the No. 3 and No. 6 positions, respectively.
Hunter faced off against Felipe Raw and, after winning decisively 6-1, 6-3, single-handedly put the Aggies within one of Montana at 3-2.
After Montana’s Carl Kuschke clinched the victory at No. 5, Tyler was able to grab a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over David Cysneiros, making the final 4-3 in favor of the Grizzlies.
Sunday – Gonzaga 5, UC Davis 2
With Friday’s heartbreaker behind them, the Aggies put their tray tables in the upright position and flew out to the Lakeridge Tennis Club in Reno for a match against Gonzaga.
In the hopes of finishing off their spring break right, the Aggies came out hot in doubles play.
All three doubles matches were decided by three points or less but the Aggies were unfortunately on the wrong side of that deficit.
At the No. 2, the Zags‘ Roman Dojcak and Scott Sullivan defeated Nic Amaroli and Reiser, 8-5. Then the No. 1 duo of Nick Lopez and Hunter Lee checked in with an 8-6 loss, and finally, in a tough No. 3 match, Tyler Lee and Kevin Liang lost 9-8 to Jake Davis and Tomasz Falkowski.
In singles play, Gonzaga rallied off four straight to seal up the win but both Reiser and Tyler Lee each grabbed lone victories for the Aggies in their respective positions.
UC Davis men’s tennis team stays on the road for three matches, beginning with UC Irvine on Friday.
MATT MILLER can be reached at email@example.com.