The UC Davis women’s tennis team wasn’t out at the wiener dog races or the parade on Picnic Day.
Instead, the Aggies were on a bus driving up Interstate 5, having just lost the tennis match that brought their season to a close a day before.
No. 56 UC Irvine beat UC Davis 6-0 in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament on Friday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.
Despite the score, coach Bill Maze saw the outcome under a different light.
“Overall, it was a very positive experience,” he said. “Irvine was just a better team. We had some close matches, but we just didn’t win any of them.“
The first point of the match was decided by a 2-0 loss in doubles play. The final point was omitted after the Anteaters sealed up the advantage.
The Aggies No. 3 and No. 4 singles matches ended quickly, giving the Anteaters a 3-0 lead.
With only one win needed for the overall victory in the final four singles matches, UC Irvine came out swinging.
The Aggies fought back, though. Desiree Stone at No. 2, Jessica Harris at No. 5 and Emma Shapiro at No. 6 all finished simultaneously. While all three fell, they each managed to keep their matches competitive.
“All three matches were all close,” Maze said. “Stone had a really great, tight match at No. 2. Harris and Shapiro each lost really close matches, too.“
The final player for the Aggies to check in was freshman Dahra Zamudio at the No. 1 singles position. She took on UC Irvine’s Courtney Byron.
Zamudio had the advantage going into the final set, but the match was called after UC Irvine clinched the win.
“She was playing some great tennis,” Maze said. “I was very impressed.“
The usual No. 1 for the Aggies, senior Randi Schuler, couldn’t go in singles play due to injury. The Woodland, Calif. native has been plagued by various injuries “all season long,” according to Maze.
Schuler was able to go in doubles play, though, as she teamed up with Stone as the No. 1 doubles tandem. The other four seniors for the Aggies – Harris, Shapiro, Jenna Kappel and Andrea Phillips – all saw action in Friday’s match.
With the loss, UC Davis finishes its season at 11-12. The Anteaters (16-7) went on to face Long Beach State (17-7) in the finals. The results weren’t made available by press time.
MATT MILLER can be reached at email@example.com.