Here is a preview of this weekend's MAC women's tennis action.
Women's Tennis In SoCal for ITA Kick-Off Weekend
LOS ANGELES – The University of Akron women's tennis team travels to Southern California this week to participate in the fifth-annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Zips will compete against No. 4 USC on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and either No. 55 Tulane or No. 67 UC Irvine on Sunday. Matches will be played at USC's Marks Stadium.
UC Irvine and Tulane square off at noon ET on Saturday, with that winner facing the winner of the Akron-USC contest on Sunday at 4 p.m. Sunday's consolation match will be played at 1 p.m. Fans can track this weekend's action through live statistics by way of USCTrojans.com.
The Zips, who enter the weekend 1-1 and have claimed back-to-back Mid-American Conference tournament championships, were selected to compete in the event for the first time in program history through a draft conducted in June. The USC campus serves as one of 15 regional sites in the 60-team bracket. The winner of each site earns a berth in the National Women's Team Indoor Championship.
The Zips and Trojans will be meeting for the first time. UA has never competed against UC Irvine and is 0-1 all-time when facing Tulane (7-0 loss on March 15, 2011).
Akron split a season-opening homestand last week, earning a 4-3 win over Middle Tennessee State before falling 5-2 to then 50th-ranked Penn State.
UA plays host to Missouri and Princeton next Friday and Sunday, respectively. Missouri is ranked 53rd and Princeton 71st in the latest ITA poll.
Tennis Hosts Matches This Weekend
The Ball State women's tennis team kicks off the Cardinals' triple header Saturday when it hosts Milwaukee at Noon. The BSU women's team opened spring play with a 2-0 start Jan. 19 at the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center. The Cardinals managed 6-1 victories over IUPUI and Chicago State. After the women's match, the Ball State men's tennis team will finish the triple header when the men host Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m. and then close out this competition with a 7 p.m. match versus Dayton.
The Ball State women's tennis team will play at Michigan State Sunday, Jan. 27 at Noon.
Falcons Head to Chicago for Two Weekend Matches
The Bowling Green State University tennis team continues dual-match action this weekend, with a pair of matches in the Windy City. The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean travel to Chicago, Ill., to face Drake University and Chicago State University.
BGSU will face Drake in neutral-site action on Saturday (Jan. 26), with the match scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. local time. The Brown and Orange then will meet Chicago State on Sunday (Jan. 27), in a 9:00 a.m. start at the Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet Club.
The Falcons split a pair of matches last weekend to open the dual-match portion of the schedule. BGSU dropped a 7-0 decision on the road against No. 19 Notre Dame, but bounced back with a 7-0 victory over Duquesne at the Perrysburg Tennis Center.
Juniors Emily Reuland and Nikki Chiricosta, who played at the top-two singles flights last weekend, are tie for the team lead in singles victories. Each player has an 11-5 mark this year to date.
Freshman Katie Brozovich has 10 singles victories, while senior Katie Grubb has eight. As a team, the Falcons are 58-47 in singles matches in 2012-13.
Five Falcons have amassed double-digit win totals in doubles play this year. Chiricosta leads the way with a 14-6 doubles mark, while Reuland is 13-7. That duo has played together 18 times this year, going 12-6.
Grubb and fellow senior Jade Johnson each are 11-4 in doubles play to date, while another senior, Maddy Eccleston, also has 11 wins. Eccleston's doubles ledger currently stands at 11-7. Brozovich and classmate Drew Fillis each have nine doubles wins, while senior Mary Hill has eight.
All eight Falcons are at least two wins over the .500 mark in doubles, and BGSU has combined for a 43-23 doubles record this season.
Overall, Chiricosta has 25 wins on the year, just ahead of Reuland's total of 24. All eight players have at least 13 victories to date.
With a pair of wins last weekend, Eccleston moved into a tie for sixth place on the BGSU career list for overall victories. The co-captain has 143 wins as a Falcon, tying her with one of her coaches. BGSU assistant coach Cindy Yonker also had 143 victories from 1994-97.
Eccleston has solidified her third-place standing on the doubles wins list, with 80. She is just nine shy of school record-holder Christine Chiricosta.
No fewer than six of the eight team members -- all but the two freshmen -- are ranked in the top 30 on at least one BGSU career wins list. The complete lists are available in the PDF at the top of the page.
For Drake, this weekend marks the first matches of the spring season. The Bulldogs will face Chicago State on Friday before meeting the Falcons the following day. DU returned four letterwinners from last year's squad that set a school record for wins, going 22-7 and finishing second in the Missouri Valley Conference.
BGSU has met Drake on just one prior occasion. The Bulldogs posted a 5-2 win in a neutral-site match, held in Columbus, Ohio, 11 years ago (March 9, 2002).
Chicago State opened dual-match play last weekend, falling to Ball State by a 6-1 count on Saturday evening (Jan. 19) in Muncie, Ind. The Cougars, obviously, meet Drake on Friday before facing the Falcons Sunday.
The Falcons and Cougars are tied, 1-1, in previous series meetings. CSU posted a 6-3 win over BG in a neutral-site match in Milwaukee, Wis., during the 1992-93 season. The following year, the teams were scheduled to meet, but the match was canceled due to inclement weather. Last season, the Brown and Orange picked up a 7-0 win over the Cougars at the Perrysburg Tennis Center (Feb. 4, 2012).
Following this weekend's matches, the Falcons will play each of the next seven duals at home, beginning with matches at the PTC vs. Youngstown State on Friday, Feb. 2, and Evansville the following day (Feb. 3). Sunday's Chicago State match is BG's final road contest until March 17.
Women's Tennis Finishes With Top Fall GPA Mark
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's tennis team recorded the highest GPA amongst all teams during the Fall 2012 semester, finishing with a team grade point average of 3.607. That mark helped pace the Athletic Department, which finished with a program-best 3.039.
"I am so incredibly proud of this team and what they were able to accomplish in the classroom," said head coach Kristen Ortman. "This is a testiment to their dedication and work ethic and it shows that they know how to take care of business both on and off the court."
All eight members on the team achieved a GPA over 3.0, headlined by freshman Gopika Kapoor, who finished with a perfect 4.0.
The Bulls begin their Spring competition season this Saturday against Pittsburgh at 1:00 pm. The match will take place at the Miller Tennis Center.
Huskies Start Spring Campaign this Weekend
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's tennis team looks to build on their late success from the fall season as the Huskies open their spring campaign this weekend with three matches. This is the first time the Huskies will take the court since Oct. 21 at the ITA Regionals.
Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) looks to continue her success from the fall season in which she posted a 6-2 singles record. Youel was the first Huskie in over a decade to earn an invite to the prestigious USTA/ITA Midwest Regional singles draw, earning a victory in the opening round.
Several other Huskies also hope to improve upon their fall season. Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) compiled a 5-3 singles record and placed second in her draw at the ITA Regionals. Malkin and her doubles partner Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe/St. Anne's Diocesan College) also took first place in their doubles draw at the ITA Regionals. Cristina Alvarez (Zaragoza, Spain/Cristorey and Sagrado Corazon De Jesus) finished the fall season with a 5-5 singles record en route to placing third in her draw at the ITA Regionals. Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) also took third place in her draw at the ITA Regionals after finishing the fall season with a 5-4 singles record.
"We've progressed nicely - I'm not complaining," said NIU Head Coach Ryun Ferrell. "We worked them hard; our philosophy is work hard, fight easy. This has probably been the toughest decision for a lineup I've had since I've been here because we are that deep. Are we going to be good? I think we are. How good? I have no idea. The sky is the limit with this team. We'll see what we can do starting with tomorrow."
The Huskies take the court on Friday, Jan. 25 against Bradley at 1:00 p.m. CT in Rockford, Ill. at Boylan Tennis Center. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Huskies head to Valparaiso, Ind. to take on Western Illinois and Valparaiso at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., respectively.