Banana Slugs win two to start Northwest trip

Banana Slugs win two to start Northwest trip

SALEM, ORE - Tuesday morning UC Santa Cruz defeated hosts Willamette College 8-1 for the second win on their Spring Break road-trip.

"This was a great back-to-back performance," said head coach Amy Jensen. "Doubles was strong again and today the Slugs really elevated their singles play. We adapted well to the indoor conditions and we were motivated to use today's match to position our team with a winning record for the first time this season."

UCSC took the matches doubles 2-1. Vera Smekalina and Claire Stoner took No. 1  8-4 over Willamette's Mikaila Smith and Alexis Gjurasic. At No. 2, Zoë Brook and Ashley Brudzinski defeated Rachel Kong and Mina Mizutani 8-2. The host Bearcats got their only point of the day at No.3 when Hannah Andres and Noemi Cruz-Cruz held off Melanie Waechtler and Danielle Aparicio.

The singles play was all Slugs, with all six matches won in straight sets. Aparicio finished the match with a 6-4,6-1 win over Kong at No. 6.

"Danielle Aparicio was terrific in singles with great defense, solid baseline play mixing in slice shots, and using some attacking forehands at the right times," Jensen said. "All her teammates were happy to see her get her first singles win today!" 

On Monday in, the team defeated Bellevue College of Washington 6-3 in Salem, sweeping the doubles before Smekalina Brudzinski and Stoner won their singles matches in straight sets.

"It was great to see how much everyone enjoyed competing. Our doubles was outstanding and all 3 teams executed many of the skills we've been honing in practice," said Jensen. "The doubles sweep gave us great momentum into singles - where Ashley was a standout. She locked in, minimized her errors, used her athleticism and put together a terrific match." 

The Banana Slugs conclude the stay in Oregon with a match Thursday morning at Pacific.