The Miami University tennis team finds itself at a critical spot as regular season play winds down heading into the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
“We are definitely moving in the right direction and building confidence. We just have to handle one match at a time,” head coach Yana Carollo said.
The ’Hawks stand at 9-11 overall with a 4-3 record against MAC competition, placing them third out of nine teams in the conference standings.
Both of the Red and White’s conference losses came in the form of narrow defeats to the two teams ahead of them in the league rankings. The University of Akron slipped by the RedHawks 4-3 on April 2, while Ball State University won in a similar fashion on April 14. The University of Buffalo most recently bested the RedHawks 4-3 on April 16.
“We definitely had a tough match against Akron, but it just helped prepare us as a team. We are now just focused on bouncing back and competing for the rest of the season,” junior Hannah Shteyn said.
Despite the pair of tough losses to conference foes, Miami has had its share of noteworthy victories during the season.
“We beat Indiana in January for the first time in school history. It was really an amazing match,” sophomore Emily Struble said.
Heading into the matchup, MU previously held a 0-34 record against the Hoosiers.
Another highlight on the season was a four-game winning streak in mid-March that began with a victory over intra-state rival University of Dayton and culminated with the loss to Akron.
Throughout the year, senior Andreea Badileanu and Struble have been forces for the RedHawks in singles competition. Both players are riding eleven match winning streaks that have propelled them each to 19-8 overall records.
In singles competition, the squad holds a .555 winning percentage, compared to a .402 mark in doubles competition. Doubles, while holding less scoring weight, can often end up being a critical factor in who wins the match, making it an area of focus for the Red and White.
“We are just trying to work a lot on doubles and stay more consistent,” Struble said.
Miami is now looking to continue to improve as it squares off against Eastern Michigan University Sunday, April 23 in its final regular season game. If it closes out the year with the solid victory, the team will position itself well with positive momentum headed into the MAC Tournament.