With their last conference match behind them, the Aggies are set to receive a three seed at the Big West Championship Tournament in two weeks.
The women’s tennis team lost to conference powerhouse Long Beach State on Friday and to regional rival Santa Clara on Saturday.
The two losses dropped the Aggies to 16-6 overall, but with a 6-2 league record, they sit behind only Cal Poly and Long Beach State in the Big West.
Friday – No. 42 Long Beach State 6, No. 56 UC Davis 1
A top 50 team again proved to be too much for the Aggies. Still, coach Bill Maze is confident in his team’s abilities with the postseason tournament approaching.
“I never count this team out,” Maze said. “It’s a matter of doing the basics better.”
Friday did not start the way the Aggies would have liked. The team lost all three of its doubles matches, an area where the coach would like to see improvement.
“We definitely have to keep working on the doubles,” Maze said. “When you play doubles you have to get a lot of first serves in the box, make your returns, close the net. That’s the plan. It’s a lot of basic stuff.”
The singles play against Long Beach State started strong for UC Davis. Freshman Megan Heneghan and junior Dahra Zamudio both won the first set in their matches, while several other Aggie players kept their matches close.
Sophomore Lauren Curry earned the only point for UC Davis, downing her opponent 6-4, 6-3.
As the other matches on Friday progressed, though, the Aggies seemed to tire. Heneghan and Zamudio were unable to hold on for wins, as they both lost the final two sets of their matches.
Junior Nicole Koehly, sophomore Ellie Edles and freshman Kelly Chui each lost in straight sets.
“A lot of this is about getting in better shape,” Maze said. “We faded a little bit in third sets. We’ve got to get stronger.”
Saturday – Santa Clara 5, UC Davis 2
Picnic Day saw the Aggies lose to an unranked opponent for the first time this season.
Local rival Santa Clara earned a surprise victory against the ranked UC Davis team, taking five of the six singles matches in the afternoon heat.
The Aggies started strong, winning two of three doubles matches to earn a point. However, they struggled in the singles competition.
For the second time over the weekend, Curry was the only player to win her singles match, winning 6-3, 6-2.
Heneghan played another tough three-set battle against Santa Clara’s No. 1 player. Heneghan won the first set in a tiebreaker, but was unable to win another set.
Koehly, Edles, Zamudio and freshman Melissa Kobayakawa all lost in straight sets.
The focus now shifts toward the conference championships, with only one regular season match left – against Cal State Bakersfield this Friday.
Maze is confident his team will be ready for postseason play.
“This team really competes,” he said. “We have a chance in every match we play. We’re going to peak at the right time.”
CAELUM SHOVE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org