61.1 F

Davis, California

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Aggies scorched in desert

The Aggies were slated to play Arizona on Friday and No. 30 Arizona State on Saturday.

That was before weather conditions moved the match against the Wildcats to Sunday, after the dual with the Sun Devils.

Perhaps, playing the tougher team second would have suited the Aggies better as they fell 5-2 to Arizona State before losing 7-0 to Arizona.

Still, coach Bill Maze expressed optimism when looking at his team moving forward.

“If you look back at individual matches, we competed in all of them,” Maze said.

The Aggies began the weekend by claiming two victories in Tempe, Ariz., both coming in singles play by freshman Lauren Curry and junior Sidney Brady.

“To win against Arizona State shows what they’re made of,” Maze said. “This was Lauren’s first college dual in her life, so [the coaches] were very impressed.”

Curry came back to win her match 6-3, 4-2 after dropping the first set to the Sun Devils’ Ashlee Brown 6-3. Brady took a near identical road to her singles win as she also lost the first set 6-3 before finishing with 6-1, 6-3 wins.

Both Curry and Brady would pair up to play with each other in the final doubles match of the day. The duo couldn’t keep the momentum rolling and were defeated 8-2, giving the Sun Devils the team victory.

After falling to the Sun Devils, the Aggies traveled to Tucson, Ariz. to face off against the Wildcats, a match that didn’t offer as much hope for UC Davis.

After sweeping the first six singles matches, the Wildcats finished the day with three straight wins in doubles to beat the Aggies 7-0.

The lone individual set winners for the Aggies were Brady and Ellie Edles, both coming in singles play. The two wound up losing their matches in three sets.

The Aggies didn’t fare much better in doubles play as Edles and Desiree Stone lost in the first doubles match 8-4, while Curry and Brady fell in the last one by an 8-0 score.

The Aggies may have lost both dual matches this weekend, but Maze believes a lot of it can be attributed to an increased level of competition that the Pac-10 Conference has to offer.

“I think the talent is number one,” Maze said. “The Pac-10 players are much bigger and stronger. They’re fit and can play three sets no problem.”

This was the first road trip of the spring schedule for the Aggies and playing two formidable Pac-10 teams will prove to be a legitimate barometer early in the season.

“The purpose of playing the Pac-10 obviously is to win,” Maze said. “But I think it really gets us ready for [Big West] conference teams. It’s a good measuring stick for us.”

For Maze, the early competition will build the foundation for not only becoming a well-rounded team, but will also put his team in better position to achieve its off-season goals.

The Aggies continue play on the road against yet another difficult Pac-10 opponent in No. 13 Stanford. The Feb. 2 matchup will provide yet another test for the Aggies in their pursuit of another successful season.

Maze, meanwhile, knows the Cardinal won’t make it easy. Stanford is the highest-ranked opponent on the Aggies’ schedule this season and is one of the top women’s tennis programs in the nation.

“We need continued attitude and effort,” Maze said. “This probably is the best women’s tennis [program] over the last 30 years, but you never know what can happen.”

MARCOS RODRIGUEZ can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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