Coach Mark Henry kicked off his 20th year as a coach for UC Riverside tennis on Saturday, Jan 19. The UCR women’s tennis team traveled to San Diego to take on the San Diego State Aztecs in their first match of the 2013 season. Unfortunately for the Highlanders, the team was unable to earn a win and fell to the Aztecs by a score of 7-0.
The Aztecs won decisively on singles action. One by one, San Diego State defeated each of the Highlanders’ players. It was UC Riverside’s Courtney Pattugalan who proved to be the most competitive player of the matches. After losing the first set, she battled fiercely in the second and challenged her opponent, Michela Casanova, until the final point was scored. Pattugalan ended up losing, however, with a score of 6-1, 7-6.
Doubles action was a bit more competitive than the singles matches. But the duo of Natalie McKay and Pattugalan was beaten by SDSU’s Laura Antonana-Iriarte and Dora Somoracz by a score of 8-3. Following that, SDSU’s Kristen Buth and Tami Nguyen defeated UCR’s Kate Bergeson and Thanh Doan by an identical score of 8-3.
It was the duo of Jamie Raney and Taylor Raney that caused problems for SDSU’s Julia Wais and Casanova. The match ended up going into 14 games, but in the end, the Aztecs prevailed with a score of 8-6.
The Aztecs completed the sweep of UC Riverside and now the Highlanders begin the season with an 0-1 record.
The Highlanders will move on and focus on their next match against Missouri-Kansas City in Riverside’s season home opener. With construction underway at the Student Recreation Center, the tennis team will be unable to play on campus and will be forced to travel to Andulka Park to compete there from this point forward. The game will take place on Jan. 25 at 12 p.m.