Teams: UC Davis at Long Beach State; at UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 2-6; 49ers, 6-2; Highlanders, 2-5
Where: Rhodes Tennis Center – Long Beach, Calif.; UCR Student Recreation Center – Riverside, Calif.
When: Saturday at 11 a.m.; Sunday at 10 a.m.
Who to Watch: While Herzyl Legaspi has just two singles wins on the season, she has made noticeable improvement in close matches.
She recently dropped a three-set match against Cal Poly on Sunday, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Did you know? Dahra Zamudio is the only Aggie who has yet to lose a singles match against Long Beach State and UC Riverside.
Preview: Each team loss is unfortunate.
Yet at this juncture of the season the losses have much greater ramifications as each one potentially puts the Aggies further away from the Big West Conference picture.
Coach Bill Maze, meanwhile, refuses to stray from his preparatory logic.
“We just stick to our routines and treat every match the same,” Maze said.
At 0-2 in conference play, this strategy has not produced the results he predicted at the start of season.
The Aggies now go on the road to face one of the best teams in the conference. Maze believes that the first matches will set the tone.
“They are the class of the conference,” Maze said. “I think against favored teams you have to win doubles.”
Fortunately for UC Davis, they have two players who have already tasted success against both weekend opponents.
Zamudio defeated her UC Riverside opponent last year in singles play, 6-1 in both sets. She notched a similar victory in her matchup against Long Beach State 6-2, 6-1.
While Desiree Stone fell to her Highlander opponent last season, she did manage to win against Long Beach State in singles play 6-4, 7-5.
“We are glad (Zamudio and Stone) are back,” Maze said. “We’re not intimidated by [our opponents]. We tend to matchup well against them.”
The doubles teams will have to adjust on the fly once more as they shifted groups for the second time in under a month. Maze feels this should be a permanent change for the rest of the year.
After dropping the first two conference matches, the only place for Aggies to go is up.
“We approach it with nothing to lose,” Maze said.
– Marcos Rodriguez