The University of Rhode Island’s tennis team lost against a pair of tough opponents this past Friday and Sunday.
The first of the two matchups were on Friday, Feb. 28 when the Rams traveled to New York to face off against Columbia, who was ranked No. 21 in the country. The Rams were set to compete in nine total matches on the day, three doubles and six singles.
However, only two of the doubles matches and three of the singles finished. This was due to Columbia clinching the victory so quickly in the match. They did so by winning the doubles point and then winning matches at number one, two and four in singles competition. All remaining matches that were still going on were stopped once this was achieved.
“They are the 21st ranked team in the country,” head coach Val Villucci said. “We knew that we were going to be up against very tough competition.”
Unfortunately for the Rams, things also did not go their way on Sunday when they faced off against Long Island University at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.
“Overall, as a whole I was a little disappointed,” Villucci said. “There were some bright spots but I just felt as a whole we could have done a better job than what we did. There were a number of distractions that we didn’t handle well.”
Rhody was able to earn a win from redshirt junior Tiara Higuchi. Higuchi earned the victory in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 at the number three singles against Elinor Storkaas.
“Tiara played well,” Villucci said. “Sometimes in the game of tennis your game can match up well against somebody and you may be able to pick your opponent apart and she was able to do that.”
Higuchi’s victory shrunk the LIU lead from 2-0 to 2-1. However, LIU won straight set victories in number two and number six singles to officially clinch the victory.
Besides Higuchi’s win, the rest of the day did not go in favor of the Rams as they were not able to secure another win in the match. They were also swept by LIU in all three doubles matches as well as in the five other singles matches. Of those five other matches, only two of them went into a third set.
The Rams continue their season next Saturday when they travel to Massachusetts to face off against Harvard. According to Coach Villucci, this will be another tough test for Rhody as Harvard has been in the national rankings this year.