After a season filled with inconsistency, the University of Connecticut tennis team won their first-round meet in the Big East Tournament against Seton Hall before falling in the second round at the hands of Creighton. Their first win was dominant, and their second was within reach, but they just couldn’t close the gap against a stronger foe.
The first round match started early on Thursday in Cayce, SC at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center against the Seton Hall Pirates, and UConn was more than ready. Maria Constantinou and Doga Selen Takunyaci won their 3-doubles match quickly with a score of 6-3, and Olivia Wright and Cameron Didion triumphed in their 2-doubles match not long after, also 6-3. That gave the Huskies a clean sweep of the doubles part of the day, and they carried that momentum through their singles play. Every single Connecticut player was winning their matches, but the most dominant singles victories belonged to Didion and Caroline Cook, who only lost a combined five games in four sets. Constantinou then won their final match of the day as the 1-singles, 6-4 and 6-4, to seal the victory for the Huskies. Simply put, Connecticut dominated. Clearly, they carried over a lot of confidence from their win against Massachusetts the week prior, and very easily beat an inferior opponent. The playoffs seemed to awaken the Huskies, as they found new energy going into their second round match against Creighton.
This round, unfortunately, did not go nearly as smoothly as the first. The day after their beatdown of Seton Hall, UConn took on the Creighton Bluejays, and it was much more of a struggle. The doubles portion of the day went horribly for UConn, as they were defeated in both the 2- and 3-doubles matches, quickly putting themselves in a hole against a superior Bluejays squad. The day did not go much better from there. Once again, 4-singles Didion and 6-singles Cook took wins as they have been all season in those slots, but the rest of the Huskies could not replicate their success. 1-singles Constantinou came heartbreakingly close, but was ultimately defeated in straight sets, 7-5 and 7-6. 2-singles Aleksandra Karamyshev also made her defeat close, as she took the first set, but her opponent rebounded and eventually got the upper hand to close it out by scores of 7-6, 4-6, and 6-1. It was certainly disappointing for UConn to come so close to taking yet another round when they were not expected to, but they still fought hard to the end.
That wraps up Connecticut’s tennis season, as they finish with a 12-11 overall record including playoff meets. Though they ended with a record that hovered around .500, they still had some impressive streaks across the span of the year. They faced a lot of adversity, and it will make the Huskies stronger as they prepare for the next season of Connecticut tennis.