The Aggies are finally coming home – and staying.
After posting a 2-1 record this weekend, UC Davis finished its streak of seven straight road contests to start the season.
UC Davis dominated in the first match of the weekend against Portland State, claiming a 5-2 victory.
The winning continued Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory against Montana State.
The Aggies found themselves in an early hole after losing two of the three doubles matches and the doubles point.
Singles play didn’t start that much better. The Aggies soon were down 3-1 – only one singles match away from a team loss.
Aggies won each of the next two singles matches, setting the stage for the final and deciding match of the day between senior Hunter Lee and Montana State’s Esteban Ferrero.
Lee began in a hole after losing the first set and the first three games of the second. He then won seven straight games to eventually claim the match in three.
“He really turned it around,” said coach Daryl Lee. “It became an even match.”
Hunter Lee’s win clinched the Aggies’ victory and helped his team get its second victory of the weekend.
UC Davis couldn’t finish out the weekend with a perfect record as it fell to Portland 5-2 on Sunday.
While a loss is always tough, there’s still good that can be seen through the patterns of the matches.
One is the command of freshman Connor Coates. Coates won his singles match in each of his team’s contests this weekend to extend his undefeated mark this season.
“He’s been playing unbelievable this whole season,” assistant coach Justin Garcia said. “He’s aggressive and can stay with players.”
Another red-hot freshman has been Toki Sherbakov. Sherbakov also won all three of his singles matches this weekend and has been a dominant force throughout the season.
Sherbakov, along with Coates, seems to be highlighting a bright present as well as future for the Aggies.
“It’s been exciting and inspiring,” coach Lee said. “I see them as leaders of the program.”
Even though UC Davis didn’t perform well in doubles play as a team, the duo of Nic Amaroli and Tyler Lee has shown its dominance.
They won all three of their matches including an 8-7 victory against Portland’s Geoff Hernandez and Nick Wales.
“They were very solid at the doubles,” coach Lee said. “Tyler and Nic competed very well.”
Although Amaroli and Lee played well, the Aggies only got the doubles point in one of their three matches.
Assistant coach Justin Garcia believes doubles has improved this year, though, and can improve even more before the season ends.
“We have a lot of guys on our team who are able to contribute to doubles,” Garcia said.
With the team now back home, it has almost two weeks to prepare for its next contest. The Aggies matchup against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 19, the team’s home opener.
“The wins have given our players confidence they can compete at a high level,” Garcia said. “They’re excited to get back home for the matches.”
ZANDER WOLD can be reached at email@example.com.