Tennis: Huskies defeat UMass, head to Big East Tournament 

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The UConn women’s tennis team competes against the visiting Quinnipiac University at the Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Manchester, Conn. on Mar. 1, 2023. The Huskies kept their home win streak, edging out the Bobcats 5-2. Photo by Skyler Kim, Staff Photographer

In a feel-good ending of the season for the UConn tennis team, they took a close 4-3 victory over nearby rival UMass for the first time since 2015 last Wednesday. On top of that, they managed to keep a 10-9 record over the course of their season and they hope to use that as a launching point as they get themselves ready for the Big East Tournament that starts on Wednesday. 

UConn could not have asked for a better confidence-boosting match. Even though the Huskies were away from home in Amherst,  Massachusetts, they made it known right from the get-go that they came to the house of the Minutewomen to win. Doubles-1 squad Aleksandra Karamyshev and Isabel Petri Bere battled tooth and nail for a 7-5 victory over UMass, and doubles-2 team Cameron Didion and Olivia Wright performed similarly, cleanly finishing off a 6-4 triumph to take the doubles point. Even though it gave the Huskies an immediate advantage, UMass fought back, as their singles-2 and singles-3, Danielle Hack and Mariya Kraskova, respectively, easily won their battles. The Huskies wouldn’t lay down, though, and Caroline Cook (singles-6) and Didion (singles-4) gave Connecticut the set lead once again on the day, 3-2.  

The UConn women’s tennis team competes against the visiting Quinnipiac University at the Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Manchester, Conn. on Mar. 1, 2023. The Huskies kept their home win streak, edging out the Bobcats 5-2. Photo by Skyler Kim, Staff Photographer

The Minutewomen then landed another tough blow to bring themselves back in the fight, as Thamopan Jonglertrakul, their 5-singles athlete, put the day’s score at three-all. The decision meant the singles-1 players would determine which side would walk away victorious. Maria Constantinou, UConn’s best singles player, really gave it her all. Despite losing the first set 4-6, she stormed back to take the second 6-3 and close out a tight 7-5 victory to walk the Huskies off, cementing their winning record on the season. The victory showed a tremendous amount of poise for a group that had trouble maintaining composure throughout a year where they experienced both terrific highs and extreme lows. Regardless, they made the most of their last game, and that solidified them to have a positive record as they went into the playoffs. 

The next goal in UConn’s sights is the Big East Tournament. Though they’ve never won it, they look to at least do some damage with the hope they can use the experience for next year as they continue to grow. No matter if they win or lose come Wednesday, they should be proud that they still made it this far to a record over .500. Despite a bumpy season, they haven’t lost their hope and motivation, coming closer and closer to reaching their true potential. 

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