MAC Women Compete at Tennis Quarterfinal Round

Updated 4/25/2009

Story courtesy of Bowling Green State University athletic media relations 

BOWLING GREEN/PERRYSBURG, Ohio (BGSUFalcons.com) - Miami and Toledo won the morning matches as the Mid-American Conference Women's Tennis Championships began quarterfinal-round action Friday (April 24). The top-seeded RedHawks downed eighth-seeded Northern Illinois, 4-0, at Keefe Courts, while #5 UT defeated fourth-seeded Bowling Green by a 4-0 score at the Keefe Auxiliary Courts.

The afternoon matches saw two more 4-0 outcomes, as second-seeded Buffalo downed seventh-seeded Eastern Michigan, and the third seed, Western Michigan, defeated sixth-seeded Akron. Both the UA-WMU and UB-EMU matches were moved indoors to the Perrysburg Tennis Center due to high winds in Bowling Green.

Those outcomes mean that Miami will face Toledo in Saturday's (April 25) first semifinal, beginning at 10:00 a.m., while Buffalo will face Western Michigan in the 2:00 p.m. match. The UB-WMU contest is a rematch of last year's MAC Championships final, won by the Bulls, 4-3, in Buffalo.

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#1 MIAMI 4, #8 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 0

Miami made quick work of Northern Illinois Friday morning, giving the 75th-ranked RedHawks a date with Toledo in Saturday's semifinal round. For MU, the win was the 10th in a row. MU is now 14-6 in dual-match play this season. NIU sees the season come to an end with a 7-16 record.

The RedHawks won the first 16 games of doubles, opening 6-0, 4-0 and 6-0 leads in their matches. Stephanie Danesis and Megan Martzolf were the first to finish, posting an 8-1 victory at the number-one flight. MU's duo of Riekie Honiball and Brintney Larson clinched the point with an 8-2 at the third level. The 'Hawks' Anastasia Dracheva and Monica Gorny had match point at 7-2 (40-15), but saw their match abandoned as the third-flight match was completed.

In singles play, Dracheva put Miami up 2-0 with her 12th-straight win, a 6-1, 6-0 victory at the second flight. Just two minutes later, Gorny earned the RedHawks another point with a 6-0, 6-1 win at the top flight. Danesis clinched the match by following with a 6-2, 6-0 win at the third level.

The RedHawks had leads in each of the other three matches as well. Martzolf had topped NIU's Emily Rogers, 6-4, in the opening set, and held a 3-0 second-set lead at the fourth flight. At the fifth level, MU's Brintney Larson had a narrow advantage over Northern's Brooke Forsberg, 6-5, late in the first set. Honiball had downed Sara McLaughlin, 6-3, in the opening set at the sixth flight.

Miami's 10-match winning streak is the program's longest since the 1991-92 ended the regular season with 10-straight wins before capturing the MAC Championship.

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TOLEDO 4, BOWLING GREEN 0

Toledo earned a semifinal-round berth and a Saturday date with top-seeded Miami with a 4-0 win over host Bowling Green at the Keefe Auxiliary Courts. The Rockets improve to 14-9 in dual matches this year to date, while the Falcons see the 2008-09 season come to an end with a 12-7 dual-match record.

UT's Martina Wodzinski, who missed the teams' regular-season match -- a 4-3 BGSU win across Stadium Drive at the 'new' Keefe Courts -- due to injury, picked up wins at the top singles and doubles flights on Friday. She teamed with Maha Guirguis for an 8-5 doubles win over the BGSU team of Kelsey Jakupcin and Christine Chiricosta, then downed Jakupcin in singles play.

The Falcons won the first of the completed doubles matches on the day, with an 8-3 triumph over the Rockets' Nadia Zoubareva and Jenny Belsky. UT's Melissa Reynolds and Ashley Frey, however, recorded an 8-5 outcome over BGSU's Libby Harrison and Stefanie Menoff at the third flight, before UT's top-flight tandem won by that identical score.

In singles action, the Rockets got a 6-1, 6-1 win from Zoubareva at the fourth flight to double the lead, and Wodzinski then picked up a 6-3, 6-2 victory at the number-one flight. When Belsky got by Menoff in a narrow 7-5 second set, the Rockets had the victory.

BGSU led at two of the incomplete matches, and the Falcons and Rockets were deadlocked in the third. Chiricosta, after defeating Guirguis in a first-set tiebreaker, held a 2-1 lead in the second set at the second flight. Harrison had also taken her opening set, defeating Jessica Azoulay at the sixth level. Azoulay had forged a slim 3-2 lead in the second set when the match was abandoned.

Babina and Frey had split the first two sets, in the first of only two matches all day to head to a third set. In that third set, the two had battled to a 2-2 stalemate when play was stopped.

The Rockets will meet Miami in Saturday's first match, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The BGSU senior class of Harrison, Jakupcin and Menoff sees their careers come to an end, having tied the school record for victories in a four-year span with 55. They tied the record set by last year's senior class of Jenna Nussbaum and Andrea Volle, both of whom were in attendance at Friday's match.

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WESTERN MICHIGAN 4, AKRON 0

As play moved indoors for the afternoon matches, the Broncos followed the trend established in the two outdoor contests earlier in the day. WMU won the first two doubles matches to finish, taking the initial point, then captured three singles contests for the 4-0 victory at the Perrysburg Tennis Center.

WMU, now 20-7 on the season, advances to Saturday's semifinal round to face Buffalo, in a rematch of last year's league tourney final. Akron sees the season come to an end with a 15-8 dual-match record. The Zips tripled last season's win total, having gone 5-15 in the 2007-08 campaign.

In doubles play, the Western second-flight duo of Kerstin Pahl and Amanda Moccia was efficient, to say the least. That team posted a convincing 8-0 win. Ashley Moccia and Jenny Nalepa followed suit soon after, picking up an 8-3 victory at the third flight. That brought a halt to the battle at the top doubles flight, where Akron's Zara Harutyunyan and Anna Baronayte held a 7-6 lead over the WMU team of Emily Dudzik and Yumi Matsuto.

In singles action, Maria Nivia got the Broncos a second point with a dominant 6-0, 6-0 win at the fourth flight. Then, Ashley Moccia came through for her team at the third flight, downing Tanyaradzwa Gombera by identical 6-2 scores.

At the top flight, Pahl powered past Harutyunyan, 6-4, 6-1, in a match that was closer than the score indicated, giving Western the win.

When the contest was stopped, Nalepa and Baronayte were in their second set, with Nalepa having won the opening set by a 6-0 margin. Baronayte, however, held a 5-4 lead in the second set.

With eight indoor courts at the PTC, and two matches being played simultaneously, the fifth- and sixth-flight matches could not begin until two other singles matches had ended. At the fifth flight, Amanda Moccia was off to a great start, with a 6-0 win and a 1-0, second-set lead over Carolina Castro Cota. At the sixth flight, Matsuto and UA's Lindsey Berry had taken the court, but had not yet even completed a game of their opening set.

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BUFFALO 4, EASTERN MICHIGAN 0

Buffalo opened up defense of its 2008 MAC Championships crown with a 4-0 win over Eastern Michigan at the PTC. The Bulls improve to 14-5 this season, and advance to Saturday's semifinal round to take on Western Michigan. EMU bows out of the tourney with a 5-16 record.

The Bulls got off to a very quick start in doubles, with two convincing wins and another match that was close to finishing. UB's number three team of Smaranda Stan and Diana Toia got the first victory, with an 8-1 win at the third flight. The Bulls then clinched the point with another 8-1 triumph, as the top-flight duo of Denise Harijanto and Diana Popescu gave UB the second win. The Bulls' tandem of Aleksandra Petrova and Anna Subenkova had a 7-0 lead over their EMU foes when that match was abandoned.

In singles action, UB won or led in all six matches when play was halted. Toia claimed the first victory as she defeated Joanna Woo at fourth singles, 6-3, 6-1. The Bulls then went up 3-0 in the match as Harijanto overcame a late first-set deficit to defeat Miriam Westernik, 7-6 (1), 6-1. Stan then clinched her fourth-straight MAC Championships match, dating to last season, as she overcame a second-set deficit to defeat EMU's Karina Ahuja, 6-3, 7-5.

EMU's Xu Chang and UB's Diana Popescu were locked in a tight match when play was stopped. Chang won the first set of their second-flight match, 6-4, before Popescu came storming back with a 6-0 win in the second set. Popescu held a narrow 2-1 third-set lead at the time the match was abandoned.

The fifth and sixth singles flights were still in their opening sets when the match came to an end. Those matches had not begun until the fourth- and first-flight matches had concluded at the PTC. The Bulls had early leads in both matches.

(some information in this story courtesy of the Buffalo and Miami athletic communications offices)

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SATURDAY'S SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS

#1 Miami vs. #5 Toledo, 10:00 a.m.

#2 Buffalo vs. #3 Western Michigan, 2:00 p.m.

matches scheduled to be played at Keefe Courts, weather permitting