The Aggies experienced a little bit of everything this past weekend. They went through a tough loss, a dominant win and a rainout.
The weekend began on Friday with UC San Diego. The contest was close from the beginning.
After Nic Amaroli and Tyler Lee won and Connor Coates and Toki Sherbakov lost, the doubles point was in the hands of Nick Lopez and Hunter Lee.
Lopez and Lee were winning 8-7 and were just one point away from a victory. Then Chapman Chan and Erik Elliott came back to win 9-8 to give the Tritons the doubles point, a point that would end up being the difference in the contest.
Singles play started with Chris Aria losing and Sherbakov claiming victory in straight sets.
“Toki is a very good competitor,” said coach Daryl Lee. “He doesn’t beat himself which puts a lot of pressure on his opponents to win in a match.”
After losing the first set, Amaroli found himself down 4-1 in the second. He then won 11 straight games to take his match to tie up the team score at 2-2.
A win by Lopez would give the Aggies a lead, but that would be short lived. Coates lost his singles contest to put the match at 3-3 making Hunter Lee the difference.
Lee won the first set, but then fell in the second set. Then the bad news came.
Lee cramped up, which heavily impacted his mobility and hurt his game. Although the third set started off 2-2, Lee would have to retire due to the cramps, giving the Tritons the point and the contest. It was a tough way to lose and coach Lee knew it.
“I give Hunter credit for work through that,” coach Lee said. “The 4-3 matches can come down to a few points.”
On Saturday, UC Davis showed their true ability to bounce back from a loss.
Even though Amaroli and Tyler Lee lost in doubles play, Coates and Sherbakov won. With Hunter Lee not playing, the new team of Lopez and Aria dominated the No. 3 match, 8-2, to give the Aggies the doubles point.
It wouldn’t be close after that. Lopez, Sherbakov, Aria, Tyler Lee and Coates were all victorious in singles. Coates’ win meant a lot to assistant coach Justin Garcia after his pep talk with Coates following Friday’s match.
“[Friday] was a very close match that he had to experience,” Garcia said. “We know Connor has tremendous potential.”
While Coates came back after his first match of the weekend, Nick Lopez continued his season comeback with wins this weekend. Lopez won both of his singles matches in three sets showing he could be successful in close games.
“He had a couple of good matches,” coach Lee said. “It was good for him to compete well in the three-set matches.”
With 6-1 victory over the Vikings, the Aggies earned a weekend split. They came into Sunday ready for a challenge but due to poor weather, the match against Portland was cancelled.
The Aggies’ record now stands at 7-10 for the season. Their next match is scheduled for next Saturday at noon, a home contest against conference opponent UC Riverside.
ZANDER WOLD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.