The Dixie State University women’s tennis team opened its 2017 season by extending its program winning streak to five, before dropping its final two matches of the weekend.
“We had a great weekend,” head coach Eric Pelton said. “We picked up a great team win and even though we lost the other two, we were right there in position to win.”
DSU took on Biola University Thursday in La Mirada, California. The Trailblazers cruised to 7-2 victory, with five of the six singles players — four players did so in straight sets.
No. 1 singles sophomore Lacey Hancock and No. 2 freshman Maria Kana Goldsmith combined for an 8-0 shutout doubles victory while No. 3 and No. 4 freshman, Kyra Harames and Frances Hina Goldsmith, won 8-4.
“We adapted really well for being [inexperienced],” said Hancock, a sophomore integrated studies major from St. George. “Everyone stuck to their game and we came out [strong].”
DSU then traveled to Concordia University to take on the Eagles. Several of the matches were close, but only junior Kaylee Milligan at No. 6 singles came away with a win.
After winning four consecutive matches in October, and having not lost since April 2016, DSU fell 1-8, ending the Trailblazers winning streak of five matches.
Hancock lost a close match in three sets 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 in singles, and then suffered another slim defeat, 5-8 in doubles with Kana Goldsmith.
The final match of the weekend came against California State University Los Angeles.
DSU fell 8-1 again, but the lone win came in a big way. Hancock won her match 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles spot over the No. 12 ranked player in the region. DSU failed to pick up a win in any of the rest of matches.
Despite a very young and inexperienced roster, Pelton said it was exciting to see the four freshman players compete at that level.
“[Pelton] reminded us to stay positive after the match against [CSULA],” said Harames, a biology major from Spokane, Washington. “We competed really hard, and we will continue to get better.”
Experience and improvement will be a factor as Pacific West Conference play comes into full swing in the coming weeks.
“The losses really just came down to a few points here and there,” Hancock said. “We have to stay focused and win those [crucial] points, and we will find a way to win more matches.”
At 5-2, DSU hosts Colorado Mesa University Feb. 25 at 11 a.m.