Aggies’ home winning streak comes to an end

Aggies’ home winning streak comes to an end

Photo Credits: Lani-Rae Green / UC Davis Athletics. Ivan Thamma (7) of the UC Davis Men's Tennis team competing at a match during the 2020 season.

Huskies hand UC Davis men’s tennis first home loss of 2020 in 4-0 sweep

Following a 4-3 win over Santa Clara University, the UC Davis Men’s Tennis team was swept 4-0 by the Washington Huskies, handing the Aggies their first loss at home this season. 

UC Davis was playing without senior David Goulak this weekend, leaving the team without his usual influence at the top of most singles and doubles matches, while also moving several players up one spot in the lineup. 

The Aggies started off the match strong, taking the first doubles match, as freshman Andrei Volgin and sophomore Daniel Landa dominated their opponents 6-1. The pair won both of their doubles matches this weekend and only gave up one game in two matches. 

“We’re getting better at our doubles overall; this weekend was pretty good,” said Head Coach Eric Steidlmayer. “We ended up losing the doubles point today, but I actually thought we played pretty well.”

Washington won the second doubles match 6-2 over junior Dariush Jalali and freshman Andras Necz, so it was up to the junior tandem of Ivan Thamma and Chethan Swanson at the one spot to determine whether or not the Aggies would get the doubles point. 

After giving up a 5-3 lead to Washington’s Jack Davis and Alexis Alvarez, the Aggies forced a tiebreak which ultimately led to the Huskies taking the doubles point, giving them the lead 1-0 going into singles play. 

The Huskies maintained control in the singles matches and defeated UC Davis in the first three matches, taking every set and clinching the match 4-0. Washington took the first two singles matches 6-4, 6-3, first against Swanson and then across junior Arjith Jayaraman. The Huskies took the final match over Necz, 6-2, 6-3.

The three matches that were left unfinished were played by Thamma, Volgin and Jalali. Although Thamma struggled early in his match, falling 6-3 in the first set, he was able to come back and take the second set 7-5. The final set was just beginning when Washington clinched the match. 

Volgin offered one of the more compelling matches of the day, coming up from a 4-1 deficit to take his first set 7-5, and was down 2-3 in his second set when his match was also left unfinished. 

The energy levels of team members were definitely on display at this match, as there were consistent moments of celebration or shouting of praise for one another in between or during sets. 

“It’s something that we emphasize a lot,” Steidlmayer said. “The energy is good and I think they want to be good players, and they know they need to bring that to be a good player.” 

Sunday’s loss marked the Aggies’ first defeat at home this season, giving them a 4-1 record at home and 6-4 overall. 

Steidlmayer discussed the team’s success rate at the UC Davis Marya Welch Tennis Center, explaining that the fans “energize everything,” and that the team feels comfortable at home. 

As far as any improvements going forward, Steidlmayer believes being a good tennis player means “having great focus,” which is something he thinks the team can improve on over the next couple months. 

The Aggies split their road trip to San Diego this past weekend, falling 4-0 to San Diego State on Friday but rebounding with a clutch 4-3 win over UC San Diego on Saturday. Now it’s back to Davis to host the Golden State Invite, beginning this Friday.

Written by: Rain Yekikian — sports@theaggie.org