Story courtesy of Miami Sports Information
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Miami claimed its second straight Mid-American Conference regular-season tennis title Saturday, defeating Toledo 7-0 at the Laurel Hill Tennis Club. The RedHawks (15-6, 8-0) won their 17th straight match in league play, duplicating their undefeated campaign of last year.
"I am extremently happy about the performance of this team -- players one through six -- throughout the season," Interim Head Coach Ricky Rosas said. "Truly, the adversity and tough situations of the year have made this team closer. They are better and have taken themselves to a more competitive level because of them. It was one of our goals to win the regular season, but we want to repeat as tournament champions as well."
Miami won eight of nine matches overall, but none more impressive than Megan Martzolf's at No. 3 singles. With the 6-3, 6-0 win, the junior from Indianapolis finished the regular season undefeated at 21-0.
"I am excited for Megan," Rosas continued. "She showed that she is a competitive player and her level of tennis increased throughout the year. When she needed to play tough, she did. It is an incredible accomplishment and the team is very happy for her. They are very proud of her."
The doubles point came down to a deciding third match after Toledo won 8-2 at No. 2 before Anastasia Dracheva and Sydnee Bridger evened things with an 8-5 win at No. 3. The RedHawks took a 1-0 lead in the match when Stephanie Danesis and Martzolf teamed for a 9-8 victory at No. 1. The tiebreaker score was 7-4.
The singles matches all went Miami's way. Martzolf put Miami up 2-0 with her win, then Dracheva followed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 1. Wald clinched the match and championship with a 6-1, 6-3 decision at No. 5, but the three remaining RedHawks continued to shine.
Honiball took the first set at No. 4, 6-4, then won the match in a tiebreaker, 7-5 (7-4). Danesis and Bridger both rallied from first-set losses to prevail. Danesis won her tilt 1-6, 6-2, 6-2, while Bridger completed a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 comeback.
"This was a big match for us today," Rosas admitted. "To sweep Toledo, on their court, on their senior day, was a great way to end the year."
Miami, which wrapped up the No. 1 seed at next week's MAC Championship with a win on Friday, will open defense of its tournament title Friday morning at 10 a.m. The RedHawks will face the winner of the opening-round match between No. 8 Ball State and No. 9 Northern Illinois. Western Michigan is hosting the event Thursday through Sunday.