Before the St. Mary’s Invitational Tournament, coach Bill Maze wanted to ensure above all else that the team had fun.
While the Aggies did that, they also were successful on the court.
“The weekend went real well,” said Maze. “Everyone did great and we got a lot of good match play.”
UC Davis traveled to St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. to take on some of the top tennis programs in the state. Players were distributed over three flights – Red, White and Blue, with Red being the most competitive.
Both sophomore Noelle Eades and junior Shawdee Rouhafza qualified for the Blue division semifinals before both losing to players from University of the Pacific 6-2, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-4, respectively.
Freshman Elanor Edles made it to the White quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Stanford’s Jen Yen. Sophomore Dahra Zamudio defeated Gonzaga’s Gabrielle Verspieren, 6-1, 6-2 in a Red consolation bracket round robin matchup.
The Aggies weren’t only successful in singles brackets but doubles play as well.
The pair of Sidney Brady and Lauren Curry had a very successful weekend, defeating Washington’s Ashley Anderson and Lauren Summers, 9-7 in Blue doubles round robin play.
“They had real chemistry,” said Maze. “There’s a distinct possibility of them sticking together for match play.”
Maze, whose goal going into the weekend was to find out which combination of players would work the best going into dual play, may have just found one of his top doubles pairs.
Brady and Curry’s match against the Huskies along with senior Desiree Stone’s win over Washington’s Lina Xu were just some of the matches played against big name programs.
“These early tournaments give us an opportunity to play some of the top Northern California programs,” Maze said. “It’s great experience for the girls to get that kind of match play.”
Even with the big wins and great play, Maze said the biggest thing that came out of the invitational tournament was the overall attitude of the team.
“They already have a lot of camaraderie, and that translates to having a good time,” Maze said. “When they’re having a good time, they’re playing well, too.”
That teamwork will be essential in a long season that continues on into April. Maze wants to ensure the girls pace themselves as well as push as hard as they can in every match.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at email@example.comXXX