USF women’s tennis defeated the University of the Pacific 4-3 last Sunday, March 4 in Golden Gate Park. The two teams competed closely throughout the match, with the decision coming down to the Dons #4 player, junior Yuri Hashiguchi, to break the 3-3 tie with a win in three sets.
Senior Alana McMahon pulled off a 6-0, 6-3 win in singles against UOP’s Regina Suarez. “The match went well for me. It was an easy first set, but then I was down 0-3 in the second. I had to be patient and once I was patient I came back to win it 6-3,” McMahon said.
The Dons have had a tough start to the season, but they are still expecting to see
considerable improvement from last year’s performance. “This season we expect to definitely do better then we did last year. The way we see it, it can only go up,” McMahon said.
The Dons faced tough losses recently against Stanford on February 29 and Santa Clara on March 2. The 7-0 loss to number eleven Stanford was a learning experience for the Dons, who faced four nationally ranked players in singles, two ranked in the top ten.
“We have had a slow start playing some hard teams, now we are getting into the swing of things,” McMahon said.
The Dons fell to Bay Area rivals Santa Clara 6-1 in Santa Clara on Friday. Santa Clara is currently 7-3 on the season and hold on to their highest rank in program history.
USF is 2-6 on the season overall, with their first win coming on opening day, January 28 against UC Santa Cruz in San Luis Obispo. The Dons swept the Banana Slugs 7-0. The six game losing streak that followed involved two heartbreaking 4-3 losses, to San Jose state on February 17 and UC Santa Barbara on February 19.
“We have had a lot of close matches already,” McMahon said, “and we are looking forward to proving that we can do it.”
The Dons play their next match Saturday, March 10 at St. Mary’s University in Moraga, California. They face each WCC team one time before the WCC championship tournament beginning April 25 in San Diego, California
“We have some very competitive teams in our conference. I would say definitely a few teams that we will be competing the most against are Santa Clara, St. Mary’s, University of San Diego, and Pepperdine,” McMahon said.
McMahon is looking forward to spending her final season at USF with this year’s team. “I’m a senior now, so I have seen a lot of different team atmospheres and this one is definitely a good. Everyone gets along really well and can feed off of each another’s energy.” The 20 year old from Park City, Utah has been competing in tennis since she was seven, and “holding a racket since age two.”
“I love competing and knowing I have worked so hard to be good at something like this. There is no feeling like being exhausted to where you could fall over right there on the court and pulling out a win, not only for yourself but for your team as well,” McMahon said.