53.5 F

Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Down with the Dons

Twentieth-century American writer Austin O’Malley once explained, “Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you.”

In relation to women’s tennis, San Francisco has been doing much of the biting in their matchups against UC Davis in the past decade. On Friday, however, the Aggies chewed through the Dons en route to their first win of the season.

After dominating San Francisco in five of the six singles matches, the Aggies (1-3) clinched the 6-1 victory in doubles play when Noelle Eades and Dahra Zamudio defeated their opponent by an 8-4 score.

“They’ve beaten us the last eight or nine years,” Maze said. “So to beat such a quality team is satisfying.”

Last year, the Dons defeated UC Davis by a slim 4-3 margin. So Maze made the necessary adjustments to ensure that history would not repeat itself for yet another year.

The play of Lauren Curry and Ellie Edles gave the Aggies their first doubles win, 8-4. Although the No. 1 doubles team of Herzyl Legaspi and Desiree Stone fell to the Dons 8-6 in their matchup, Maze saw no reason to make another change.

“The teams looked good,” Maze said. “We’ll probably stick with those teams for a while.”

Maze continued to praise his team’s singles play, especially Stone’s performance against former pro Jennifer-Lee Heinser. Stone would eventually fall to Heinser 6-3, 6-4.

Despite this setback, the Aggies had convincing performances in their matchups, including Zamudio’s 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 come-from-behind win in singles play. Legaspi provided the clinching victory in singles play with a 7-6, 7-5 win over Julia Wartenburger.

“It looks like we dominated,” Maze said, “but there were some tight ones in there. We just happened to win all the close matches. To win those close matches, you need heart and it showed we had a lot of heart.”

Maze refused to acknowledge the home advantage as the reason the Aggies ended their slump against San Francisco. He said there were many times in the past when the Aggies had the home court, but could not capitalize.

“It always helps to play at home,” Maze said. “The difference was we were just better [on Friday].”

Unfortunately, the Aggies could not ride their momentum into the second of their weekend matchups against Sonoma State. Fearful of weather conditions, the teams postponed the Saturday match for a future date.

The Aggies will now have to wait a little longer for the chance at back-to-back wins. Although their next match is not against a Division II team like the Sonoma State, Sacramento State could still offer a feasible opportunity for victory No. 2.

However, the Aggies did get their first win and with the monkey off their back can now concentrate on honing their skills in preparation for upcoming Big West Conference matches.

“It’s always nice to get the first [win] out of the way,” Maze said. “We don’t expect it to get any easier. We never expect it to be easy.”

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


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