Judy Dixon Reflects On Successful Tennis Season
May 3, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass tennis team wrapped up its 2013-14 season at the Atlantic 10 Tournament last week in Mason, Ohio. The Minutewomen opened the tournament with a convincing 4-0 victory over Dayton on March 24 to advance to the championship quarterfinals where No. 5 UMass upset fourth-seeded Richmond 4-1 on March 25. The squad's momentum was cut short however, when top-seeded VCU bested UMass 4-0 in the semifinal round. UMass advanced to the semifinal match of A-10 tournament play for the third consecutive year, also playing in the championship match in 2012. The squad finished the season 15-9 overall, 2-1 in conference play and stood undefeated 7-0 on home courts.
The Minutewomen improved their play throughout the course of the season, inking an 8-2 record in the team's last 10 matches. Head Coach Judy Dixon commented: "Tactically we improved our ability to play against different styles in singles, learning how to open the court, to use the entire court with different shots and spins."
In dual matches, UMass recorded a 69-55 singles record, and just broke 500 at 83-80 overall. In A-10 match-ups, the Minutewomen pinned down 17 of 24 matches for a .708 conference winning percentage in singles action. Aarzoo Malik took the reins this season in singles play, marking 14-9 overall, and claiming a 4-0 undefeated record in A-10 matches. Arielle Griffin also took all four of her conference matches this season and tallied a 12-11 overall singles record.
In doubles action, Sonia Bokhari and Chanel Glasper clinched seven of 10 matches, four of which came at the No. 1 spot. Yuliana Motyl and Anna Woosley also posted an impressive doubles record at 7-2 overall, and undefeated 2-0 in the A-10. The tandem also inked a six-game win streak for the season. Dixon commented that, "our doubles play took a huge step forward. We became more aggressive in our ability to move at the net, using different serving formations and playing attack ball."
The squad hopes to improve upon its continued success, and Dixon is looking forward to a winning season next fall: "next year we will be a young team loaded with talent. I believe that we will be a bit tougher next year, more fit and intense. I am hoping that our growth in doubles will carry over so that we continue to make this a strength."
In terms of leadership, Dixon commented that the graduating seasons set high expectations this past season: "These seniors only knew winning records. They expected to win and it sets a tone. Three of them are on the all-time career list in both singles and doubles and Podlofsky now stands on top of the all-time career singles list. Theirs are big shoes to fill."
The UMass tennis team graduates four seniors this year and will return to action next fall in pursuit of another successful season.