Coach Bill Maze said that Dahra Zamudio was on “fire” in singles play against UC Santa Barbara.
But as quick those flames engulfed her opponent is how fast they were stomped out in the team’s weekend matchups.
UC Davis dropped its first Big West Conference match of the weekend, 5-2 to UCSB on Friday. Maze said that with another conference match on Saturday, his team had little time to regroup.
“Those teams have always been tough on us,” Maze said. “I would have preferred a different result.”
Ellie Edles and Herzyl Legaspi were defeated 8-2 in No.1 against the Gauchos. Lauren Curry and Desiree Stone didn’t fare much better in No. 2 as they fell 8-4. The last doubles match on Friday ended in similar fashion as Noelle Eades and Zamudio took an 8-2 defeat.
“The doubles play against UCSB was my least favorite of the trip,” Maze said. “We bounced back in the singles though.”
The Aggies appeared to be staging an improbable comeback against a Gauchos squad that has had their number for the past decade. Stone won in her first singles matchup 7-5, 6-2. In No. 2, Zamudio used the momentum to torch her opponent Sofia Novak, 6-0, 6-3.
“Zamudio is picking up where she left off last year and is playing at a high level right now,” Maze said.
UC Davis pulled the team to within 3-2 before succumbing to another Gauchos victory when Annabel Gledden clinched No. 4 over Lauren Curry 6-3, 6-1. Edles came close to a singles win, but fell to Tova Hausman in a super tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7).
Against Cal Poly, Maze decided to mix up the doubles teams for the second time in almost a month. While the switches had little effect on the outcome, Maze feels he may have finally found the right set of groups.
“It’s been a tough year for doubles because of all the changes,” Maze said. “We’re still moving doubles around. We mixed up the teams because the energy wasn’t good against UCSB. We now feel like they will be the matchups for a while.”
Stone and Legaspi had the closest match in No. 1, but lost 8-6. Edles and Zamudio were defeated 8-4 in the second matchup while the No. 3 group of Eades and Curry lost 8-4.
After a strong showing against the Gauchos, the Aggies could not find anything that worked for them in singles play and were swept in all six matches.
Stone put up the biggest fight in her match as she won the first set, taking her opponent to the third and final set. She lost the final two sets 6-4, 6-4.
“Desiree played great this weekend,” Maze said. “Her opponent [Suzie Matzenauer] was probably the best in the conference.”
Stone has faced the best each of these teams had to offer and has won two of her last three singles matches.
With the losses, the Aggies are now 0-2 in Big West action. However, this isn’t cause for concern according to Maze.
“I think as long as we keep our heads up, we’ll be fine,” Maze said. “I thought we had a good shot against UCSB, but this team does not hold on to disappointment.”
UC Davis will hit the courts again Saturday against a Long Beach State team considered to be one of the best in the conference.
MARCOS RODRIGUEZ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.