The Miami University women’s tennis team earned its fourth-straight Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season title in convincing fashion, blanking Ball State University (BSU) Saturday 7-0 in Muncie, Ind. and spoiling the Cardinals’ senior day. The win made it 33-straight for the RedHawks in league play and gave the senior class a perfect 32-0 career MAC regular season record.
“I am really proud of this team and their attitude out there through this year,” second-year head coach Anca Dumitrescu said. “We are happy to win the regular season MAC title but more importantly I just want to see the players improve each day and fulfill their potential as players and as individuals. That is more important than any titles, and as long as we focus on that and continue to do that, victories will come.”
The ‘Hawks (13-9, 8-0 MAC) kicked off the rout of the Cardinals with all three doubles teams snagging wins. The pairing of senior Rieke Honiball and sophomore Nimisha Mohan, along with the duo of senior Jessica Parr and sophomore Christiana Raymond, combined to get the doubles point for Miami with 8-2 and 8-3 wins, respectively. Senior Stephanie Danesis and freshman Christine Guerrazzi completed the sweep with an 8-4 victory.
“We played great today,” Gurerrazzi said. “We really came together and pulled it out. We’re looking forward to the MAC Tournament next weekend and hoping we play our best tennis of the season.”
In singles competition, Guerrazzi pushed the Red and White’s lead to 2-0 after a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Cardinals’ senior Dena Boulieris. A 6-2, 6-4 victory gave freshman Alix Thurman 21-straight wins on the season, and Mohan clinched the RedHawk victory after defeating BSU senior Kylee Johnson, bringing her singles winning streak to five.
Miami completed the shutout with Raymond winning 6-2, 6-1, Danesis defeating Ball State freshman Courtney Wild 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 and then Honiball closing out the match 6-3, 6-4. The win gives Danesis her eighth-straight win in singles play and moves her career wins total to 153, tying her with Miami Hall of Famer Jill Joslin for most in program history.
“Every player on our team got it done today. It feels good going into the tournament with every single player feeling confident,” Danesis said. “We are hungry and excited to capture three more wins in the tournament.”
Ball State (5-15, 0-8 MAC) went winless in league play for the third time since 1989 after the loss to the ‘Hawks, the first two times being in 1989 and 2009. The Cardinals will play in the MAC Tournament, with their next match 1 p.m. Thursday against Northern Illinois University (NIU).
Miami is looking to seize its third MAC Tournament championship in four years as they travel to DeKalb, Ill. They will face the winner of Thursday’s match between BSU and NIU 10 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.