The Miami University women’s tennis team swept conference foes University of Akron and the University at Buffalo over the weekend to continue their regular season 27-game league play winning streak.
Miami (7-9, 2-0 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the 65th-ranked Zips 4-3 Friday afternoon. The win avenges a RedHawk loss by the same score in the MAC Championship last year.
Miami swept through doubles play then won five of six singles matches, giving the RedHawks a 6-1 victory over the Bulls Saturday afternoon.
In the match-up with Akron, Miami was swept in the three doubles matches then lost the first singles match, putting them at a 2-0 disadvantage. Freshman Alix Thurman put the RedHawks on the scoreboard with a 6-1, 6-4 victory, but Akron (14-2, 0-1 MAC) responded to open up a 3-1 lead.
From there the RedHawks took over, as senior Stephanie Danesis took the next match, defeating 2011 MAC Player of the Year Zara Harutyunyan, 6-2, 6-3.
Miami tied the score at three when sophomore Christiana Raymond came back in the following match, posting a 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 win over Angelina Jogasuria.
The game-deciding point was in the hands of freshman Christine Guerrazzi, as she won her first set 6-1, but Akron’s Ksenia Berestetska rallied to force a third, 6-3. The decider went all the way to a tiebreaker, with Guerrazzi dominating 7-1 to claim the final set, 7-6.
“I was proud of the way we fought out there today,” Head Coach Anca Dumitrescu said. “We started slowly in doubles but were able to find our energy in singles. Akron certainly put us under a lot of pressure out there, but we kept finding ways to persevere and eventually came through. It is certainly a good start to our conference season but we still have a long way to go.”
After continuing their journey an additional four hours from Akron to Buffalo, Miami won the doubles point for the fifth time in its last seven outings to open a 1-0 lead against the Bulls.
The team of Danesis and Thurman improved to 4-2 in doubles play with an 8-6 victory, and then senior Riekie Honiball and Guerrazzi combined for an 8-5 victory. Raymond and sophomore Nimisha Mohan completed the sweep with an 8-3 win.
In singles play, Thurman made the score 2-0 by posting her fifth straight singles win, 6-0, 6-2. The freshman now stands 16-8 overall this year, including 6-2 in dual matches. Danesis registered a win, 6-4, 6-2, before Mohan finished off the Bulls 6-3, 6-0.
Buffalo (5-7, 1-1) picked up its lone point with a Marta Stoyanova victory over Honiball, 7-5, 6-1, but Miami answered with wins by Guerrazzi (6-1, 6-4) and Raymond (4-6, 6-4, 10-6). Guerrazzi’s win was also her fifth in a row and improved her overall record to 15-9.
“This weekend was a great turn around for the team,” Raymond said. “We have been improving throughout the season and this weekend it really showed.”
The ‘Hawks continue their road trip in the MAC next week when they travel to the University of Toledo and to Eastern Michigan University for matches Friday and Saturday, respectively.