Here is a look at this weekend's MAC women's tennis action.
Tennis Opens Dual-Match Schedule with Weekend Homestand
AKRON, Ohio – The two-time defending Mid-American Conference champion University of Akron women's tennis team begins the spring portion of the 2012-13 schedule with a weekend homestand.
The Zips face off against Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 2 p.m. ET and 50th-ranked Penn State on Sunday at 10 a.m. Both contests will be held at UA's indoor home of LaTuchie Tennis Center in nearby Stow (driving directions). MTSU and PSU face one another on Saturday at 10 a.m. at LaTuchie Tennis Center.
Akron, which went 24-4 overall and 7-1 in MAC play a season ago, meets up with Middle Tennessee for the first time and looks to improve to 3-0 all time versus Penn State. The Zips posted a pair of 5-2 road victories over the Nittany Lions in 2010 and 2011.
The Akron roster features four upperclassmen in seniors Angelika Jogasuria, Angelina Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart, and junior Ksenia Berestetska. Sophomore Olga Shkundina and freshmen Isabella Catelani, Madison Cohen, Signe Lazdina and Martina Zerbola round out the squad.
Next weekend, the Zips travel to Los Angeles to compete in the prestigious Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Kick-Off Weekend. UA will take on fourth-ranked USC on Jan. 26 and either 55th-ranked Tulane or 68th-ranked UC Irvine one day later.
Women's Tennis Opens 2013 Season at Home Saturday
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State University women's tennis team opens the 2013 spring schedule Saturday when it hosts IUPUI and Chicago State at the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center beginning at 1 p.m.
Ball State will face IUPUI in their first match playing three doubles and six singles matches. In the night cap, BSU takes on Chicago State at 6 p.m. with the same match format.
The Cardinals begin their 36th year of tennis at Ball State which began with the 1977-78 season. Ball State head women's tennis coach Christine Bader enters her third season at the helm of the Cardinals.
Ball State returns five letterwinners from last season. The Cardinals welcome back sophomore Courtney Wild who received First Team All-Mid-American Conference honors as a true freshman. Wild led BSU last season with an overall record of 21-12 at No. 1 singles.
The Cardinals will also host Milwaukee (Jan. 26), Butler (Feb. 7) while closing out non-conference action at home with a double-header March 15 against Oakland University and Aquinas College. BSU opens Mid-American Conference action at Miami March 23 before hosting the 2013 MAC Tournament at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center, April 26-28.
Falcons Begin Dual-Match Schedule at No. 19 Notre Dame Friday
The Bowling Green State University tennis team begins the dual-match portion of the 2012-13 schedule with a pair of tests this weekend. The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean return to the state of Indiana for the second-straight weekend, taking on 19th-ranked Notre Dame on Friday (Jan. 18). Then, the Brown and Orange will host Duquesne the following afternoon (Jan. 19).
Friday's match vs. the Fighting Irish will begin at 4:00 p.m. inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Saturday's Duquesne contest is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. at the Perrysburg Tennis Center.
The Falcons are coming off a solid weekend of action at the adidas/IU Winter Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. (Jan. 11-13). The three other teams that joined BGSU in the tourney field featured two nationally-ranked programs -- No. 49 Indiana and No. 52 Missouri -- in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of the spring.
BGSU had overall records of 4-11 in singles and 12-7 in doubles at IU. After going 1-11 overall in first-day action, primarily against the host Hoosiers, the Brown and Orange bounced back to post seven overall wins on Saturday and eight on Sunday.
The Falcons went 3-4 in singles play on Saturday, and BG competitors posted a 5-2 doubles mark as well. On Sunday, the teams played exclusively doubles, and the Falcons went a combined 7-1.
Those Sunday wins included a victory over a nationally-ranked duo. BGSU senior co-captain Maddy Eccleston and junior Emily Reuland picked up a win over a Missouri team (Cierra Gaytan-Leach and Elisha Gabb) ranked 26th in the nation in the latest ITA doubles listings.
In all, the Falcons posted a perfect 4-0 doubles record against Missouri.
On the weekend, senior Katie Grubb had a team-best 6-1 record, including a 2-0 singles mark and a 4-1 doubles ledger. Junior Nikki Chiricosta was 5-2 over the three days, going a perfect 5-0 in the last two days of the invite, while senior Jade Johnson's 4-3 mark included a 4-0 doubles record after a first-day loss.
Dean utilized no fewer than 11 different doubles combinations at IU.
Heading into this weekend's action, Chiricosta has a team-leading 24-8 record, while Reuland is right behind with a 23-9 mark. Freshman Katie Brozovich has 17 overall wins, while Grubb now has 16 victories.
Chiricosta and Reuland have identical 10-4 singles records this year to date. Reuland is ranked No. 87 in the nation in the ITA singles rankings. She is the only Mid-American Conference player ranked among the top 125.
In doubles, Chiricosta has a 14-4 record, while Reuland is 13-5. Three other Falcons -- Eccleston, Grubb and Johnson -- have 10 doubles wins apiece, and all eight BG players have a winning doubles record with at least seven victories in 2012-13.
On the career charts, Grubb surpassed the 100-win mark during the IU invite. She now has 101 overall victories to rank 28th in school history. Grubb is one of five active Falcons to be ranked on that list.
Eccleston is tied for eighth in BGSU history with 141 overall wins, while Chiricosta (19th, 122), Reuland (22nd, 112) and senior Mary Hill (T-24th, 104) join Grubb in that group.
Eccleston is now third on the school list for doubles wins, with 79 in her career. She is just 10 shy of tying Christine Chiricosta, Nikki's older sister and Eccleston's former doubles partner, for the school record. Christine Chiricosta had 89 doubles wins in her career, and Eccleston was her partner for 44 of those victories.
Chiricosta, Grubb, Hill, Johnson and Reuland all are ranked among the top 25 on the BG career doubles wins list, while Eccleston, Chiricosta, Reuland and Hill can be found among the top 25 performers in singles. Grubb is one win away from joining the top-30 singles players in BG history.
The Falcons went 10-10 in dual-match play a year ago, including a 4-4 MAC regular-season mark. BGSU advanced to the semifinal round of the league championships last April.
Notre Dame, listed in the ITA preseason rankings for the 23rd consecutive season, also will open the dual-match season on Friday. The Fighting Irish went 21-8 last season, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Team Championship.
ND junior Britney Sanders is ranked 58th on the ITA singles list, while Sanders and fellow junior Julie Sabacinski are 20th on the doubles chart. Junior Jennifer Kellner and sophomore Molly O'Koniewski are listed 44th.
Friday's match will be Notre Dame's first intercollegiate competition in two months, since the Western Michigan Super Challenge. The Falcons also participated in that tourney in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Duquesne and the Falcons are also quite familiar with one another. The Dukes' three fall tourneys included a pair at which BGSU also participated. DU came to the BGSU Invitational on Sept. 21-22, and the teams also competed at Toledo's Rocket Invitational the following month (Oct. 12-13). Saturday's match vs. the Falcons will mark Duquesne's dual-match opener.
Last season, Duquesne had a dual-match record of 13-9, and the Dukes advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Championships before falling to the number-one seed.
The Falcons hold a 6-0 lead over Duquesne in the all-time series between the teams. Last year, BGSU posted a 5-2 victory in Western Pennsylvania in the dual-match opener for the Brown and Orange (Jan. 21, 2012). In the last meeting in Northwest Ohio, the Falcons picked up a 4-3 win at the Perrysburg Tennis Center three seasons ago (March 19, 2010).
BGSU and Notre Dame have not met since the 1988-89 season. The Falcons posted three victories over the Irish during the decade of the 1970s, while UND picked up four wins during the 1980s.
Following this weekend's action, the Falcons will prepare for yet another trip on the Indiana Tollway. This time, BGSU will continue through Indiana en route to Illinois for a pair of matches in the Windy City. BG will face Drake in a neutral-site match on Jan. 26, before meeting Chicago State on Jan. 27.
Women's Tennis Travels South for a Weekend of Matchups
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Eastern Michigan University women's tennis team will travel south for the weekend to take the Marshall University Thundering Herd and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The Eagles will play Marshall Friday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., followed by a matchup with the Colonels Saturday, Jan. 19, beginning at 4 p.m.
The Eagles previously traveled to Nebraska for a two-game weekend and came away with a 1-1 finish. Eastern won all seven matches against Nebraska-Kearney, but fell short in a 7-0 loss to Nebraska.
The last time the Eagles went up against the Thundering Herd was in the 2011-12 season. EMU put up a strong fight on their home court at the Chippewa Club, though they were unable to leave with the win in a 5-2 loss to the then-ranked No. 54 Marshall University.
Women's Tennis Adds Shanahan for 2013
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan women's tennis team announced today that Hailey Shanahan has enrolled at Western Michigan and will join the tennis program for the Spring 2013 semester. A native of Sale in Australia, Shanahan will have four years of eligibility with the Broncos.
"I'm excited that Hailey has decided to continue her education and her tennis career at Western Michigan," said WMU head women's tennis coach Betsy Kuhle. "She is a great player, and I look forward to having her make an immediate impact on our program."
Shanahan has been ranked among the top youth tennis players in Australia, including #32 in the country in U18 rankings and #258 overall. She comes to Western Michigan as one of the top players in her home state as well; Shanahan ranked #12 in the state of Victoria in the U18 rankings, and helped Sale to two Regional Pennant championships. Individually, Shanahan reached the second round of the ITF Gapolli Youth event in both singles and doubles, and was the Sale Tennis Club Champion in 2011.
Intending to major in exercise science, Shanahan is the daughter of Stephen and Michelle Shanahan. She has one younger brother, Ben.