Courtesy of UCR Athletics

After starting the season with two losses, the Highlanders managed to win their next two games against Hope International and Westmont College. Due to weather conditions though, they saw two of their matches cancelled already and their Feb. 14 match against Hawaii postponed to a later date. Going into their Las Vegas road trip, with their record sitting at .500 (2-2), UCR went in looking to extend their win streak.

However, that win streak came to an end because the Highlanders lost both of their matches against Colorado State (4-1) with a score of 4-2 and against UNLV (7-2) with a score of 4-0.

UC Riverside freshman Mahli Silpachai and Natalie Shamma lost in the No. 2 doubles set to Colorado State’s Stella Cliff and Nancy Ghanem with a score of 6-3. The Highlanders managed to win one of their three doubles sets, earning a 6-4 victory in the number one doubles set but lost the number two and number three doubles sets with a final score of 6-2.

The Highlanders didn’t fare any better against the Rebels. Due to rain delays, doubles were not played and some matches were left unfinished. The Rebels were led by senior Aiwen Zhu, who is currently ranked 81st in the nation. She faced off against UCR freshman Lindsey Gelinas and won with a score of 6-0. UC Riverside lost all of their other single matches as they were simply overmatched by the Rebels.

Ending their Las Vegas road trip on a low note, the Highlanders lost once again as they were defeated by New Mexico State with a 4-0 score. After the Aggies took an early 1-0 lead in the number two and number three doubles match, the Highlanders were unable to bounce back and lost the match with a 6-2 score.

Up next, the Highlanders will return to Riverside to face off against UC Irvine at the SRC courts Saturday, Feb. 23.

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