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Davis, California

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Aggies fall to Grizzlies, defeat Seawolves

Wednesday’s contest seemed to be going the Aggies’ way.

UC Davis was up 3-2 over Montana and only needed to win one of the two remaining matches to seal a victory.

Then Mother Nature caused the match to be postponed until the next day.

When play picked up, the only Aggies still playing were senior Hunter Lee in the No. 5 match and junior Nick Lopez [cq] in the No. 1 match. Both matches were in the third sets.

The day break didn’t seem to help the Aggies as Lopez ended up losing to Carl Kuschke. After the match, Lopez talked about how he tried to block out the distraction of playing in a suspended game.

“I tried not to think about it,” Lopez said. “You put it in the back of your head.”

With the contest tied 3-3, Hunter Lee remained the Aggies’ only hope for a team victory over the Grizzlies. In an extremely close and exciting match, he ended up falling 6-4 in the third set.

“Hunter did a good job out there,” coach Lee said. “He’s been a clutch competitor for our team.”

The Aggies had to promptly forget about their match as their next one was just a couple of days later.

After a 6-1 win over Sonoma State on Saturday, all signs pointed to a UC Davis recovery.

The day began with a sweep for the Aggies in doubles play. The Hunter Lee and Nick Lopez duo overcame their Thursday defeats and were victorious.

The freshmen pair of Connor Coates and Toki Sherbakov as well as the senior tandem of Nic Amaroli and Tyler Lee also claimed wins.

The Aggies’ doubles play showed improvement in the last two contests, as they won five of the six matches overall.

“Hunter and Lopez are becoming more consistent,” coach Lee said. “All three teams need to have the similar mindset that [they] have been bringing.”

In singles play, the day only got better for the Aggies as they won five of six singles matches.

One of those victories was from Sherbakov who won both of his weekend contests from the No. 2 slot.

“Mentally, I was playing well,” Sherbakov said. “I kept my mind strong and that’s what put me through.”

Lopez followed up his doubles victory with a straight sets singles victory of his own in the No. 1 match.

“Nick had a good match,” coach Lee said. “[He] plays his best when he is solid with his shots and works his way towards the net.”

With the win, the Aggies showed the ability to bounce back quickly after a loss. Lopez wasn’t the only Aggie to win on Saturday after losing his prior match, as both Chris Aria and Tyler Lee were victorious against the Seawolves.

Aria defeated Drexler Dy in straight sets, while only losing one game total in his singles match. This came after he fell in straight sets against Raydner Ramos on Wednesday.

Tyler Lee defeated Quan Vu in straight sets after losing in three to Josh Smith of Montana.

“Chris did a good job with his concentration,” coach Lee said, “and overall, Tyler has been very competitive.”

With this week’s split, the Aggies are now 6-9 on the season.

UC Davis returns to action on Friday as it hosts UC San Diego in the first of three contests next weekend.

ZANDER WOLD can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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