The Aggies have been preparing for Big West Conference opponents all year. Often times, though, winning is the ultimate form of preparation.
UC Davis saw that firsthand in their recent 7-0 drubbing of UC San Diego on Sunday. After dismantling the Tritons (3-1) and handing them their first loss of the season, the Aggies (2-4) showed that conference play has come at the right time.
“It’s always a great feeling to win all of your matches,” coach Bill Maze said. “It was perfect preparation.”
The Aggies played near flawless tennis, which was highlighted with a sweep by the still developing doubles teams. Herzyl Legaspi and Desiree Stone played at No. 1 and beat their opponents 8-6. Lauren Curry and Ellie Edles had to go into extra points to notch the Aggies’ second doubles win, 9-7.
Noelle Eades and Dahra Zamudio, meanwhile put one of the more impressive doubles performances on Sunday with an 8-1 victory.
“We feel the team has chemistry,” Maze said. “They know each other and Noelle is good at closing on the net.”
This victory marked the fifth time in as many years that the Aggies have defeated the Tritons in convincing fashion. Maze said that while the Aggies’ competitiveness has kept them in most matches this year, his team’s natural abilities were the deciding factor in the team win.
“I think we have more talent than UCSD,” Maze said. “They are a team with a lot of heart, but we matched that.”
This was the first sweep for singles play this season and a feat that came before the most crucial stretch of UC Davis’ schedule.
The most competitive match came from in No. 3 between Legaspi and Cindy Dao. Legaspi struggled in the second set, but held it together to win a close match, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.
“[Legaspi’s] opponent was very tough,” Maze said. “[Dao] was a great competitor but [Legaspi] hung in there and toughed it out.”
Desiree finally took the proverbial monkey off her back when she earned a win over Taskeen Bains by a score of 6-4, 7-5.
The North Hollywood, Calif. native has seen stiff competition all year, but it was only a matter of time before she broke through her losing streak.
Sidney Brady, who claimed her team-leading fourth singles win of the year, has already won four times more than her output from last season’s singles play.
“[The coaches] are very pleased with Sidney” Maze said. “We always felt like she had a potential. It’s nice to see she’s blossomed.”
Curry, the only freshman on the Aggies team, claimed her third singles win against Valerie Tang, 6-3,6-1.
Curry remains second on the team in singles wins as she has continued her steady improvement throughout the season.
The Aggies hope this win will provide enough momentum heading into conference play beginning Saturday against UC San Barbara.
Maze said the Gauchos have given the Aggies numerous problems in the past, but having already competed with the teams like Stanford and Arizona State should help to offset this.
MARCOS RODRIGUEZ can be reached at email@example.com.