Miami and Western Michigan advance to Women's Tennis Championship Match

Updated 4/26/2009


Stories courtesy of Miami University and Western Michigan University athletic media relations.

MAC Women’s Championship Semifinals
Miami 5, Toledo 0
Western Michigan 4, Buffalo 3

Miami 5, Toledo 0
PERRYSBURG, Ohio -- Miami jumped out to quick leads across the board Saturday morning, then survived several Toledo rallies in a 4-0 victory over the Rockets in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tennis Championship at the Perrysburg Tennis Center. The win was the 11th straight for the 75th-ranked RedHawks.

Top-seeded Miami (14-6) will face No. 3 Western Michigan Sunday for the league title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Miami won the doubles point for the 12th time in the last 13 matches. Anastasia Dracheva and Monica Gorny got things started at No. 2 with their 13 straight win. They were broken in the first game, but won the next eight for an 8-1 triumph. Stephanie Danesis and Megan Martzolf secured a 1-0 lead with an 8-2 win at No. 2. They won the first two games, but dropped back-to-back games before rallying. The RedHawks' No. 3 team of Riekie Honiball and Brintney Larson were on the verge of victory, tied 30-30 with a 7-3 lead when play was halted.

Gorny put Miami up 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewashing at No. 1 singles in a match that lasted just 41 minutes. The RedHawks continued to pound away at the Rockets, winning four of the other first sets, but then things got tight. Larson posted a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 5 to put Miami up 3-0, then Megan Martzolf sent the RedHawks into Sunday's championship match with a 7-5, 6-1 victory at No. 4. Less than 10 seconds later, Danesis completed a 6-3, 6-4 victory that made the final score 5-0. The decision was allowed to stand as the final point was in progress when the RedHawks clinched.

In the two abandoned matches, Dracheva was forced to a third set for the first time in 13 matches. A winner of 12 in a row, she took the first set 6-2, before dropping the second 6-1. The players were on serve with Dracheva down 1-2 when the match was called. Finally, Toledo was enroute to a victory at No. 6 as Honiball trailed 6-2, 4-3.

"I think we played one of our best matches of the year today in terms of quality of tennis and competitive spirit," Head Coach Howard Joffe said. "We have worked all year to get to this point and are excited about playing for the championship tomorrow."

The championship match is scheduled to be played at the Keefe Tennis Center on the BG campus at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both of the semifinal were contested indoors because wind gusts exceeded the NCAA maximum for an outdoor match.

Western Michigan 4, Buffalo 3
After two-straight defeats to Buffalo, the No. 3 Western Michigan women's tennis team knocked off the No. 2 Bulls, 4-3, in heartbreaking fashion in the semifinals of the 2009 Mid-American Conference Women's Tennis Championships at the Perrysburg Tennis Center. Buffalo had defeated WMU in the 2009 regular season and in the finals of the 2008 MAC Tournament.

The Bulls (14-6) led, 3-2, but the Broncos picked up victories at No. 5 singles from Amanda Moccia and No. 6 singles from Yumi Matsuto to pick up the victory and send the Broncos (21-7) into the championship match of the MAC Tournament for the fourth year in a row. The Broncos will play Miami (Ohio) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, either outdoors at Keefe Courts or indoors at the Perrysburg Tennis Center. The Broncos had given up a lead in the las two losses and this time, WMU completed the comeback on the Bulls to end their season.

The Bulls looked to be in control with a 3-2 lead and Amanda Moccia was trailing 4-1 in the third set. Moccia, however, began to rally and won the next five games to even the match with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

The match came down to Matsuto at No. 6. She won the first set, but then lost a tiebreaker in the second set. Matsuto bounced back and was serving for the match, 5-3, but Anna Subenkova came back to even the score at five. Matsuto held serve to go up, 6-5, and then picked up another service break to send the Broncos into the finals 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-5.

WMU started by winning the doubles point from the Bulls. Ashley Moccia and Jenny Nalepa started things off by winning 8-3 at No. 3 singles. Matsuto and Emily Dudzik then knocked off Denise Harijanto and Diana Popescu, the No. 5 doubles team in the ITA East region, 8-6 at No. 1 doubles.

The Broncos added to their lead, 2-0, with freshman Maria Nivia finishing first for the second day in a row with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Diana Toia at No. 4 singles.

The Bulls came back by winning the next three singles matches at No. 2, No. 1 and No. 3 to set the stage for Moccia and Matsuto's heroics at the bottom of the lineup.

No. 3 Western Michigan 4, No. 2 Buffalo 3
Apr 25, 2009 at Perrysburg, Ohio (Perrysburg Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. Denise Harijanto (UB) def. Kerstin Pahl (WMU) 6-4, 6-0

2. Diana Popescu (UB) def. Jenny Nalepa (WMU) 6-3, 6-3

3. Smaranda Stan (UB) def. Ashley Moccia (WMU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1

4. Maria Nivia (WMU) def. Diana Toia (UB) 6-3, 6-2

5. Amanda Moccia (WMU) def. Aleksandra Petrova (UB) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

6. Yumi Matsuto (WMU) def. Anna Subenkova (UB) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5


Doubles competition

1. Emily Dudzik/Yumi Matsuto (WMU) def. Denise Harijanto/Diana Popescu (UB) 8-6

2. Aleksandra Petrova/Anna Subenkova (UB) vs. Amanda Moccia/Kerstin Pahl (WMU) 4-4, unfinished

3. Ashley Moccia/Jenny Nalepa (WMU) def. Smaranda Stan/Diana Toia (UB) 8-3


Match Notes

Western Michigan 21-7

Buffalo 14-6

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,2,1,3,5,6)

MAC Tournament semifinals

WMU advances to play No. 1 Miami in championship match