UCR women’s tennis started its Big West conference participation with a devastating loss to the nationally-seeded #60 UC Irvine on Thursday afternoon. The Highlanders traveled to Orange County looking to beat the Anteaters, who held a solid record of 12-5.The action started with doubles matches. UCI controlled all three games in their entirety, giving the Highlanders little chance to score the doubles point in their favor. At court No. 1, UCR’s Taylor Raney and Jamie Raney had the upper hand at the beginning of their match by scoring the first points, but were ultimately beaten by UCI’s Courtney Bryon and Hannah Holladay with a scoreline of 8-5. At court No. 2, the Anteaters confirmed their great form as Franziska Goettsching and Kristina Smith swept UCR’s Natalie Mckay and Kat Saltarelli by 8-1. At court No. 3, the Highlanders couldn’t do much to overcome UCI’s momentum and were thrashed by 8-1. By winning the three games UCI scored the first point of the match.In singles action, the momentum and finer tennis stayed with the Anteaters. UCI demonstrated why they are #60 in the nation as they thrashed the Highlanders by controlling all six singles matches. UCR never posed any threat to UCI’s powerful and yet delicate tennis; the Anteaters completed a great run of games by sweeping UCR. Highlander Jamie Raney faced UCI’s Kristina Smith at court No. 1 where both players performed great tennis, but it was Smith’s finesse that made the difference in the end; the game started even but as it progressed Smith seemed more comfortable on the ball; at the end the score line marked 7-5, 6-4 in favor of the Anteater. UCR’s Kate Bergeson was swept by UCI’s Hannah Holladay at court No. 6—the Highlander never stood a chance against Holladay’s powerful backhand; the final result was 6-2, 6-2. The Anteaters rounded up a great performance as Ali Facey comfortably defeated UCR’s Courtney Pattugalan by 6-1, 6-2 in a game that clearly showed the abysmal difference between tennis teams. UCR’s first conference game ended painfully with a final score of 7-0. The Highlanders will look to overcome their losses in their visit to Westmont for their second Big West Conference match.