Women’s Tennis: Dons Split Matches in Arizona, Lose to UC Berkeley

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The Dons bounced back from two consecutive losses to beat the New Mexico State Aggies 5-2 on Monday, Feb. 3 in the second of two matches at the Robson Tennis Center in Arizona. It was a welcome return to winning form for USF, which got victories on courts one through four from freshman Thyra Taune, sophomore Andrea Ka, sophomore Sofia Holmberg, and junior Marina Nikolic. Taune and Ka were especially impressive, taking their matches by scores of 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-1, respectively.

San Francisco also came out on top in all three doubles matches. The tandem of Ka and Nikolic were dominant in their 6-2 win, and Nikolic and junior Milica Hadzi-Tanovic completed the doubles sweep on court three.

On Sunday, Feb. 2, the Dons dropped their second match in a row when they faced the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz. Though it was the second game of the day for the Wildcats, they did not ease up and maintained their focus against USF, ultimately winning 6-1.

Sofia Holmberg defeated Arizona in her doubles match with Thyra Taune. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)
Sofia Holmberg defeated Arizona in her doubles match with Thyra Taune. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

There were bright areas for the Dons (5-2) in both the singles and doubles matches. In singles, Taune defeated Arizona’s Lacey Smyth 6-4, 6-4. Unfortunately, San Francisco couldn’t come up with a victory in any other singles matches. Sophomore Brooke Irish lost 6-3, 6-2 to Laura Oldham, and Holmberg was beat handily by Akilah James, 6-1, 6-1. Nikolic and Hadzi-Tanovic nearly came away victorious in their matches, but they were both eventually defeated in four and three sets, respectively.

In doubles matches, the duo of Holmberg and Taune bested Arizona’s Smyth and Shayne Austin. Still, the Dons could not capitalize on this win, losing matches on courts two and three.

On Friday, the Dons faced off against the University of California, Berkeley Bears. Though they came into the match riding a four-game winning streak, the Dons were handed their first loss of the season against the Bears at Berkeley’s Channing Tennis Courts. USF was unable to come up with victories in both the doubles and singles matches, allowing UC Berkeley to win 7-0.

In the singles matches, Hazdi-Tanovic went against UC Berkeley’s Alicia Duranteau, ultimately coming up short. Taune and freshman Genevieve McCloskey also fought to tilt their matches in favor of the Dons, but none were able to garner a single victory. On court three, Ka jumped out to a lead, but the Bears’ Klara Fabikova overcame the early deficit to win 6-4, 6-3. Another close match was Nikolic’ battle against Meagan Manasse, which she wound up losing 7-5, 6-3.

In the doubles competition, USF was no match for UC Berkeley, losing 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in the three matches. The final loss in the doubles sweep came when McCloskey and Hadzi-Tanovic faltered against the Bears’ Cecilia Estlander and Kelly Chui, losing 6-1.

The next game for the Dons will be at UC Davis on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 12:00 p.m.

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