53 F

Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Aggies finish ranked No. 60

A fantastic season for the UC Davis women’s tennis team came to an end last weekend at the Big West Conference Tournament.

Despite the loss, it was a record year for the Aggies. The team received their first ever Intercollegiate Tennis Association national ranking back in mid-March, and finished the year ranked 60th in the country.

The grand total of 17 wins was the most for the program since reclassifying to Division I. With only seven losses during the season the team also posted its highest winning percentage since the division switch.

Individually, the Aggies garnered multiple awards for their season’s performance.

UC Davis’ No. 1 singles player, Megan Heneghan, was named the 2011 Big West Freshman of the Year. Heneghan also received First Team honors, and freshman Kelly Chui was named to the All-Big West Second Team. Junior Dahra Zamudio received honorable mention.

Coach Bill Maze, a former professional tennis player, was named the 2011 Big West Coach of the Year for the first time during his 16-year career with the Aggies.

Unfortunately for UC Davis, the regular season success did not carry over into the Big West Championships. UC Davis was upset by UC Irvine on Friday, a day when nothing seemed to go right.

“It was just one of those days,” Maze said. “They played very well. [UC Irvine] is a very well-coached team. I have great respect for them.”

Friday – UC Irvine 4, UC Davis 0

For UC Davis, a match against the defending Big West Champions proved to be too tough a task.

“[The Anteaters] had more experience than [we did], and they were just too good,” Maze said.

UC Irvine jumped out to an early advantage in the southern California heat, taking two of the three doubles matches from the Aggies and earning the first point.

UC Davis’ No. 2 pairing of freshman Nicole Koehly and sophomore Ellie Edles were able to secure a win, but the team saw losses at the first and third positions.

For Maze, the doubles win by Koehly and Edles was the best part of Friday’s competition.

“The highlight of the match for us was No. 2 doubles,” he said. “Nicole and Ellie played a phenomenal match.”

UC Irvine continued to apply the pressure in singles play, winning the first three matches to complete the sweep. For the Aggies, Koehly, Heneghan and Zamudio each lost in straight sets. The final three singles matches did not finish.

The team’s focus now shifts to the 2011-2012 campaign, and the Aggies are ready to go.

“I’m so excited for next year,” Maze said. “One of our players said ‘we’re ready to play tomorrow.'”

In fact, the Aggies will be able to rest for the remainder of the quarter, the last spring quarter for departing seniors Sidney Brady and Shawdee Rouhafza.

When the team reconvenes in the fall, it will do so with all six of their starters from this season.

Joining that group will be incoming freshman Layla Sanders, a five-star recruit from El Cerrito, Calif.

“She is an all-court player which makes her as adept in doubles as she is in singles,” Maze said of Sanders.

Overall, Maze is impressed by the efforts of his squad.

“Our team should be proud of [itself],” he said. “We had a heck of a year and I think they’re all looking forward to next year.”

CAELUM SHOVE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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