UCR tennis readies for conference play


Following their first set of home matches at the Student Recreation Center, the men’s and women’s tennis teams travelled to Hawaii and Las Vegas, respectively, to play a few more matches before Big West conference competition begins next week.

Coming off of their first victory of the season over Whittier, the women’s team journeyed to the Aloha State, facing Hawaii Pacific on Friday, Feb. 6. Though the contest was Hawaii Pacific’s first match of the spring schedule, the Sharkys only conceded one singles match in a 6-1 thumping of the Highlanders. Doubles partners Natalie Penner and Tamilla Vaksman overcame Hawaii Pacific’s Vivian Hansen and Sofia Tavitian, 6-4, though UC Riverside lost the remaining pair of doubles matches. Highlander Kassie Truong scored the lone point for UCR at the sixth singles slot, coming from a set down to defeat Sofia Tavitian, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Ranked No. 56 in the nation, Hawaii swept the Highlanders in UC Riverside’s second match of the weekend, 7-0, on Saturday, Feb. 7. In both teams’ first conference match, the ‘Bows won every contest in straight sets including the trio of doubles matches. Highlander Courtney Pattugalan won four games in her 6-3, 6-1 defeat to Martina Kostalova, which was the most games a UCR player won on the day.

The men’s tennis team only won a singles match in Friday’s defeat to Weber State, 6-1. Highlander Julian Ruffin’s tight 7-6, 6-4 victory over Jakub Gewert was the lone bright spot for the university as UCR fell in every other contest.

Facing off against New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 7, the Highlanders again fell to lose their sixth match of the season. The Aggies notched the doubles point with two convincing wins, 6-2 and 6-3. On the singles side, several matches were not finished because New Mexico State’s three singles wins secured their 4-0 victory over UC Riverside.

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