MAC Women's Tennis Weekend Preview

Updated 4/19/2013

Here is a preview to this weekend's final regular season of MAC women's tennis action.

Akron:
 
Women's Tennis Closes Regular Season at Toledo and Eastern Michigan
 
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron women's tennis team rounds out the regular season with a trip to Mid-American Conference opponents Toledo and Eastern Michigan on Friday and Saturday, respectively. First serve for both events is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
 
The Zips (16-8, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) have won back-to-back matches, and are 6-3 in away contests this season. UA also boasts the nation's No. 56-ranked doubles pair in Prang Pantusart and Angelina Jogasuria, who are 16-0 during the dual-match season (6-0 MAC) and 17-1 overall this year.
 
Akron comes off a 6-1 win at Buffalo last Saturday, its only match last week. Against the Bulls, the Zips took the doubles point with a victory on the No. 1 and 3 courts, then won in straight sets at No. 1-3, 5 and 6 singles to clinch the decision. That victory followed a 5-2 defeat of Western Michigan on April 6.
 
UA has defeated Eastern Michigan (8-12, 3-3 MAC) in each of the last four seasons and Toledo (8-11, 2-4 MAC) during each of the last three.
 
The MAC tournament runs April 26-28 and will be held at Ball State's Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind. The Zips are the two-time defending league tournament champion.
 
 
Ball State:
 
Women's Tennis Ends MAC Regular Season at NIU Friday 
 
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women's tennis team (13-10, 4-3 MAC) will end its Mid-American Conference regular season at Northern Illinois (14-8, 0-6 MAC) Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. (EST).
 
The Cardinals split a pair of matches in league action last weekend, losing to Bowling Green (6-1) Friday and then pulling off the 4-3 road win at Western Michigan Saturday. 
 
Recently, Ball State has received back-to-back MAC weekly honors.  Courtney Wild earned MAC Player of the Week honors April 3, while her teammate Kristel Sanders earned the honor April 10.  Wild and Sanders both own 6-1 singles marks in MAC action.
 
Following this weekend’s action, the Cardinals will host the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament where Ball State will host all six MAC teams (April 26-28) at the Cardinals creek Tennis Center.
 
 
Bowling Green:
 
Falcons Head to Kalamazoo, Looking to Clinch MAC Tournament Berth; BGSU faces Western Michigan Saturday afternoon
 
The Bowling Green State University tennis team takes to the road to close the regular-season schedule this weekend.  The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean will face Western Michigan University on Saturday (April 20) afternoon, with the Mid-American Conference match scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Sorenson Courts in Kalamazoo, Mich.
 
In the event of inclement weather, the BGSU-WMU match would be moved indoors, and would be held at West Hills Athletic Club.  Starting time for the match would remain 1:00 p.m.
 
BGSU enters the weekend with an overall record of 15-4 in dual-match play, and a 4-3 mark in MAC action.  Currently, the Falcons are in a three-way tie for third place in the nine-team league.  BG is tied with WMU and Ball State, one-half game behind second-place Akron.  Miami has clinched at least a tie for the regular-season title and the number-one seed for the MAC Championships.
 
The MAC Championships format has changed, and only six of the nine teams will qualify for league postseason play in 2013.
 
Heading into the last week of the regular season, the Falcons still have a chance to finish as high as second in the league standings.  A win at WMU would clinch a berth in the tourney for the Brown and Orange, as BG would be assured of no worse than a tie for third place and the fourth seed.
 
It is possible (although not likely) that the Falcons could miss the tournament with a loss to Western. While BGSU holds the tiebreaker with several of the teams around them in the standings – including Akron and Ball State – BG would lose a two-team tiebreaker with Eastern Michigan and Buffalo by virtue of head-to-head results in the teams' regular-season meetings.  Adding to the storylines is the fact that BGSU has never defeated WMU.
 
With 15 overall wins, BGSU is just one shy of tying the school's single-season record for overall victories.  Both the 1998-99 and 2007-08 Falcon teams posted 16 dual-match wins.
 
The Falcons split a pair of matches at the Perrysburg Tennis Center last weekend, beating Ball State before falling to Miami in a five-hour marathon.  On Friday (April 12), BGSU won the doubles point and captured five singles matches in straight sets en route to a 6-1 win over the Cardinals.
 
On Saturday (April 13), the Falcons won the doubles point yet again, with juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland winning a tiebreaker to come out on top of a lengthy match at the top flight.  In singles play, however, the RedHawks captured four of the matches to pull out a 4-3 win.  At the number-one flight, Reuland and Nimisha Mohan battled through a three-set marathon that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours, with Mohan pulling out a victory.
 
Saturday's MU match was 'Senior Day' for the BGSU program, as Dean and assistant coach Cindy Yonker recognized the team's four seniors prior to doubles play.  That senior class, which comprises 50 percent of the roster, includes co-captains Maddy Eccleston and Mary Hill, along with Katie Grubb and Jade Johnson.  Heading into the WMU match, that quartet has combined for 216 singles victories and 304 doubles wins.  Eccleston is BGSU's all-time leader in career doubles wins, and all four seniors are ranked among the school's top-15 in doubles victories and the BG top-30 in combined career wins.
 
The Falcons now have an overall record of 52-32 (61.9%) since BGSU's seniors arrived on campus (Hill, a transfer from Coastal Carolina Univ., is in her third season at BG).  The school record for wins in a four-year span is 55, set by the 2007-08 senior class and matched by the '08-09 and '10-11 classes.
 
This weekend, the 2012-13 Falcons will be looking to continue a trend that has led to success much more often than not.  BGSU has captured the doubles point in 18 consecutive matches, and the Falcon competitors have a combined record of 43-11 during that time.  BG tandems are 11-7 at the top doubles flight and an uber-impressive 16-2 at both the second and third flights during that 18-match span.
 
BGSU has won the doubles point in 18 of this season's 19 dual matches, after turning that trick 13 times in last season's 20 duals. In the last three-plus years (since the current senior class came to BG), the Falcons have won the doubles point 61 times and lost it 23 times. In MAC regular-season matches in that time, BG has won the doubles point 23 times in 31 tries.
 
In each of the Falcons' first six MAC matches this season, Dean and Yonker saw those four seniors combine to pick up doubles wins at the bottom two flights.  Eccleston and Grubb posted six consecutive victories at the second flight before finally losing, by a narrow 8-6 count, against Miami on Saturday.
 
Hill and Johnson remain undefeated in MAC matches, having gone a perfect 7-0 to date in third-flight action.  That duo is 13-2 in MAC regular-season action over the last two seasons, having posted a 6-2 record as a team during their junior year.
 
In fact, Hill has an overall record of 20-3 in MAC regular-season doubles matches since coming to BGSU.  She teamed up with Nikki Chiricosta for a 6-1 mark two seasons ago, and also played (and won) one match with Grubb as her partner in that 2010-11 campaign.
 
No BGSU doubles team has ever posted an undefeated record while playing every match of the MAC regular-season schedule.  Several Falcon duos have gone 6-1 in recent years, including Hill and Johnson last year and Hill and Chiricosta two seasons ago.  Katia Babina and Samantha Kintzel teamed up for a 4-0 record in the 2007-08 season.
 
The Hill/Johnson team now has gone 14-3 this season, with all but one of those matches having come in dual-match play.  Eccleston and Grubb are 21-6 on the year and 14-3 since the start of the dual-match schedule.
 
Chiricosta and Reuland have teamed up to go 22-11 this year.  The juniors are 10-7 overall in dual matches, with all but two of those 17 matches having come at the number-one flight.
 
Chiricosta and Reuland rank one-two on the team in total wins, as Chiricosta is now 50-20 on the season, while Reuland is 44-26.  Grubb has 43 wins and freshman Katie Brozovich 42, and both players – like Chiricosta – have won more than two-thirds of their overall matches.  Brozovich has a winning percentage of 73.6% (42-15) in 2012-13, with Grubb at 71.6% (43-17) and Chiricosta 71.4%.  Reuland has won close to two-thirds of her matches, with a 62.8% rate.
 
Freshman Drew Fillis has won over two-thirds of the time in her first season as a Falcon.  She has an overall record of 25-11 to date, good for a winning percentage of 69.4%.
 
Eccleston ranks fifth on the Falcons in overall wins with a 39-24 record this year, good for a 61.9% success rate.  Hill has 33 victories and Johnson 31 this season. 
 
In fact, all eight players on the BGSU roster have at least 25 total wins, and every Falcon is at least 11 games over .500.
 
Brozovich has 27 singles wins, while Chiricosta has 25 and Grubb and Reuland 19 apiece.  In doubles, Eccleston has a 26-9 record, and both Chiricosta and Reuland are 25-12.  Grubb has a stellar 24-6 doubles mark this season, while Johnson is 25-7, Hill 20-8, Fillis 16-5 and Brozovich 15-7.  Every player on the team has won at least two-thirds of her doubles matches this year.
 
Brozovich's singles win total ties her for third in school history, just three away from matching the school record.  Abby Bratton had 30 singles wins in the 1998-99 season.  Nikki Chiricosta, who owns the second-highest total on that list with 28 wins in her freshman season (2010-11), has 25 this year to tie for sixth.
 
Brozovich, a MAC-Freshman-of-the-Year candidate, is a perfect 7-0 in MAC singles play, and has captured 18 consecutive singles matches since her last loss back on Jan. 18.  Overall, she has won 25 matches in a row since that singles setback.
 
Brozovich has a chance to become the first-ever Falcon to go 8-0 in MAC regular-season matches.  Stefanie Menoff was 7-0 for BGSU in 2006-07, but did not play in  one of the team's eight MAC matches.
 
As mentioned, the Hill/Johnson duo has a perfect 7-0 MAC record, while the Eccleston/Grubb tandem is 6-1 in league play heading into Saturday's WMU match.  Eccleston had won nine consecutive doubles contests before suffering the narrow loss vs. Miami, while Grubb was a winner in eight doubles matches in a row prior to that setback.
 
Eccleston, BGSU's all-time leader in doubles wins, now has 95 career victories.  Eccleston, who broke the record of 89 set by Christine Chiricosta (2008-11) in the Falcons' win over Toledo, has won 16 of her last 18 doubles matches.
 
Eccleston teamed with Christine Chiricosta for 44 victories during the two years (2009-10 and '10-11) that both players were on the BG roster.  Eccleston and Grubb now are 28-9 as a duo in their respective BG careers.
 
Nikki Chiricosta, just a junior, is ninth in BG history with 72 career doubles victories, while Grubb is deadlocked for 10th with 71.  Hill and Johnson are tied for 14th on that list with 69 career doubles victories, while Reuland, just three wins behind that duo, is tied for 17th in BGSU history.
 
Chiricosta is now tied for sixth on the BGSU singles wins list, with 76, while Eccleston is 14th with 71 victories.  Reuland is 17th with 67 career singles wins, with Grubb and Hill are part of a tie for 21st place, with 57 wins apiece.
 
Eccleston is second on the BGSU combined career wins list, with a total of 166 victories as a Falcon.  Christine Chiricosta holds that BG record, with 178 total wins during her BG tenure.
 
All four BGSU seniors and both Falcon juniors are on the list of the top-30 players in school history in combined career wins, with Chiricosta – again, just a junior – ranked seventh with 148 wins, Reuland 13th (133 wins), Grubb tied for 16th (128), Hill tied for 19th (126) and Johnson 29th (100).
 
Western Michigan is 11-12 overall, and the Broncos – like BG – are 4-3 in the MAC.  WMU began conference action with four-straight wins, but the Broncos have lost the last three matches, falling to Akron, Miami and Ball State.  The losses to UA and MU came by identical 5-2 scores, while last Saturday's (April 13) setback to BSU was by a narrow 4-3 margin.  Overall, Western is 7-6 at home this season, including a 2-2 record in MAC matches in Kalamazoo.  Last season, WMU went 17-11 overall and 5-3 in the MAC.  Like BGSU, Western saw the 2011-12 season come to an end in the semifinal round of the MAC Championships.
 
BGSU trails Western Michigan, 38-0, in the all-time series between the teams, although last season's meeting was one of the closest in series history. The Broncos eked out a 4-3 win at Keefe Courts (April 13, 2012), rallying for four singles wins after BG had swept the three doubles matches.  In the teams' last meeting in Kalamazoo, the Broncos picked up a 5-2 win.  BGSU has posted as many as two points vs. Western in four of the last five regular-season meetings, after being held to one point or fewer in 11 consecutive matches from 1999 to 2008.
 
Following this weekend's match, the Falcons hope to be preparing for the MAC Championships, which will be held the following weekend in Muncie, Ind.  The third- through sixth-seeded teams will be in action on Friday (April 26), with the two Friday winners joining the top-two seeds in Saturday's (April 27) semifinal round. The championship match will be held on Sunday, April 28, with the winner earning the MAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
 
 
Buffalo:
 
The Bulls travel to Eastern Michigan on Friday, April 19 at 1:00 pm and Toledo on Saturday, April 20 at 1:00 pm.
 
 
Eastern Michigan:
 
Women's Tennis Closes out the Regular Season at Home; Eagles to host Buffalo Friday, April 19, and Akron Saturday, April 20
 
YPSILANTI, Mich. – Head Coach Ryan Ray's Eastern Michigan University women's tennis team will close out the home portion of its 2012-13 schedule with two weekend Mid-American Conference dual matches.
 
Friday, April 19, the Eagles will host the Bulls of the University at Buffalo, and Saturday, April 20, EMU will host the University of Akron Zips.  Both matches are slated for 1 p.m. starts and will most likely be played indoors at the Chippewa Racket Club in Ypsilanti.
 
Eastern will take an 8-12 overall record and a 3-3 MAC mark into this weekend's twinbill. Buffalo is currently 11-4 overall and 2-4 in league action while Akron is 16-8 overall and 4-2 in MAC play.  Last Saturday, April 13, the Eagles knocked off Northern Illinois University, 6-1, at the Chippewa Club.
 
The 2013 MAC Women's Tennis Championship kicks off Thursday, April 25, at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind. Currently, EMU is in sixth place with a 3-3 record. Miami University leads the MAC with a 6-1 mark followed by Akron (4-2), Bowling Green (4-3), Western Michigan (4-3) and Ball State (4-3). Rounding out the standings, Buffalo and Toledo are tied for the seventh spot at 2-4 while Northern Illinois is in ninth place with a 0-6 record.
 
 
Miami:
 
The RedHawks travel to Northern Illinois on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 pm ET to conclude the regular season.
 
 
Northern Illinois:
 
Huskies Close Out Season at Home with Ball State, Miami 
NIU Has Already Clinched the Program's First Winning Record Since 2003
 
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's tennis team takes on Ball State and Miami at home this weekend looking to close out the 2013 schedule on a high note after one of the winningest campaigns in history.
 
NIU's 14 dual match wins this year are already the most by a Huskie women's tennis team since 1996-97 and are the sixth-most all-time. After narrowly missing the .500 mark last season with an 11-12 finish, Northern Illinois will finish the spring with a winning record for the first time since 2003.
 
The Huskies will take on Ball State (13-10, 3-3 MAC) Friday at 1 p.m. at the Boylan Tennis Courts in Rockford (4000 St. Francis Dr.) and will play league-leader Miami (10-12, 6-1 MAC) Saturday at 1 p.m. That match will be played either at Boylan or at the West Tennis Courts on the NIU campus, depending on the weather conditions.
 
Northern Illinois Head Coach Ryun Ferrell said although NIU is out of the conference race, his team is motivated.
 
"We are ready to finish strong," Ferrell said. "We are looking for that 15th win and add to our résumé for the all- conference ballots. This has been an amazing year and we want to end on a high note."
 
Huskie sophomore Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central HS) needs one singles win this weekend to tie Natacha Koprivica for the most singles wins in a season at NIU. Koprivica set the record in 1989 with 26 wins, while Youel is 19-3 this spring and has won 25 matches this year. She is also third in combined (singles and doubles) victories in a season with 46 and could climb into second place on that list with three wins this weekend. Two of Youel's three losses have come in the third-set super tiebreaker.
 
With 21 singles victories this year, including 16 this spring, NIU's Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) also can break into the Huskies' Top 10 list for single season wins. She needs one win to move into a tie for ninth-place on the single season chart. 
 
 
Toledo:
 
Toledo Wraps Up Regular Season with Pair of Home Matches 
 
TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo women’s tennis team (8-11, 2-4 MAC) will conclude the 2013 regular season on its home court with a pair of conference matches this weekend. The Rockets will host second-place Akron (16-8, 4-2) on Friday, April 19, while taking on Buffalo (11-4, 2-4 MAC) the following day. Both contests are set for 1:00 p.m. starts at the UT Varsity Tennis Courts.
 
The Midnight Blue & Gold are looking to build momentum for the upcoming Mid-American Conference tournament, following a 4-3 win over Northern Illinois last Friday. UT never trailed in the one-point victory as all three of the Huskies’ points came once the match was clinched.
 
After being forced indoors due to inclement weather, Toledo opened the home match with dominant victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles for the first point. Then, UT quickly sealed its second MAC win by capturing second, third and fifth singles in straight-sets.
 
Junior Chrissy Coffman leads the team with an 11-8 overall record, including five consecutive individual wins in league play. To date, Coffman has compiled a career 16-4 ledger against MAC opponents.
 
Freshman Emily Mazzola has proved herself during her rookie campaign with a 4-2 conference record in singles. She is second on the team with nine overall wins (9-7) and has been a steady contributor in doubles competition all season.
 
Sophomore Pia Rygh and freshman Mackenzie Bowman hold a team-best 3-1 record in conference doubles play, while Rygh claimed her first MAC win of the season at No. 3 singles last weekend.
 
Akron enters Friday’s dual riding a two-match win streak, most recently topping Buffalo 6-1 last Saturday. The Zips have won the previous three matchups against the Rockets and are paced by Angelina Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart. Jogasuria claimed her third-straight singles win last weekend, while teaming up with Pantusart for a spotless 16-0 record in dual matches this season – ranking them No. 76 in the country.
 
The Bulls are currently tied with UT for seventh place in the MAC after dropping last weekend’s match to Akron, and will play at Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon before visiting the Glass City. The Rockets have won each of the past three meetings 4-3, while last year’s win came at Buffalo. The Bulls are led by Tanvi Shah and Miranda Podlas at the top of their singles lineup with 11-6 and 15-5 records, respectively.
 
Following this weekend, Ball State will host the Mid-American Conference tournament in Muncie, Ind. next Friday-Sunday, April 26-28 at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center.
 
 
Western Michigan:
 
The Broncos host Bowling Green on Saturday, April 20 at 1:00 pm ET.