Here is a preview of this weekend's MAC women's tennis action.
Women's Tennis Readies for Three-Match Weekend Road Swing
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron women's tennis team looks to improve its four-match win streak during a weekend trip to the states of New Jersey and New York. The Zips face off against Wagner on a neutral court at the New Jersey Institute of Technology's facility in Newark on Friday at 1 p.m. ET, at NJIT on Saturday at 1 p.m., and at 52nd-ranked Columbia in New York City on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Akron (5-5) swept a two-match homestand last week with a 4-3 victory over East Tennessee State on Friday and 4-3 decision versus 69th-ranked Oregon on Sunday. Both wins came courtesy of dramatic three-set, last-match-on-court decisions.
Against ETSU, Olga Shkundina clinched match point with a 7-6 (7), 6-7 (4), 6-4 win at No. 4 singles, and versus Oregon it was Angelina Jogasuria's 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles that did so. Jogasuria's performance earned her Mid-American Conference Player-of-the-Week honors for the fourth time in her collegiate career.
Jogasuria is 3-0 at first flight singles this season and 7-3 overall against singles competition. She partners with Prang Pantusart at No. 1 doubles to make up the nation's 43rd-ranked pair, a duo that takes a 9-0 record into the weekend. Ksenia Berestetska boasts a six-match singles win streak for UA.
The Zips will face Wagner (2-2) for the first time, while the meetings with both NJIT (5-1) and Columbia mark the second ever between the programs. Akron defeated NJIT 7-0 at home last season and lost to Columbia 8-1 on a neutral court in Florida in March 1990.
UA starts a four-match homestand on March 7 when Youngstown State comes to town for a 12:30 p.m. contest. That match was originally scheduled to be played at YSU, but was recently switched to a home event for UA.
The Cardinals will face Youngstown State on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 5:00 pm ET and Cleveland State on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 10:00 am. Both matches will be in Cleveland, Ohio.
Falcons Face Mastodons, Vulcans this Weekend
The Bowling Green State University tennis team, looking to extend a seven-match winning streak, will play a pair of duals at the Perrysburg Tennis Center this weekend. The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean will face IPFW in Friday (Feb. 22) action and California (Pa.) on Sunday morning (Feb. 24) as a season-long seven-match homestand rolls on.
Friday's IPFW match will begin at 12:00 p.m., with Sunday's Cal U dual set for a 9:30 a.m. start. Both matches will be held at the Perrysburg Tennis Center, and admission is free.
BGSU enters the weekend with a 7-1 record in dual-match play. The Falcons' last match was a narrow 4-3 win over Cincinnati on Feb. 10. BG won all three doubles matches against the Bearcats, sweeping the doubles contests for the fifth time in a seven-match span.
The Falcons and UC split the singles matches, marking the first time in BG's seven-match winning streak that the Brown and Orange did not win at least five of the six singles flights.
BGSU competitors have a combined record of 35-7 in singles and 19-2 in doubles during the team's seven-match winning streak.
Several Falcons bring impressive personal winning streaks into the weekend. Junior Nikki Chiricosta has captured 13 consecutive matches (singles and doubles combined), while freshman Katie Brozovich has won her last 11 matches. Senior Katie Grubb had had a 13-match personal winning streak before suffering a loss in singles play against UC. Prior to that setback, she had not lost since the Falcons' Jan. 18 match at Notre Dame.
On the season, all eight Falcons have at least 18 total wins, including at least 11 doubles victories apiece. Every player on the team is at least four games over .500, with seven of the eight players at least eight games above the break-even mark.
Chiricosta leads the Falcons in all three wins categories this season to date. Her 37-11 overall mark includes a 17-5 singles ledger and a 20-6 doubles slate. Fellow junior Emily Reuland is close behind with a 35-13 record, having gone 16-6 in singles play and 19-7 in doubles action.
The Chiricosta/Reuland duo has played at the top flight in six of the eight dual matches this season to date, and the two juniors have played at the top-two singles flights as well.
Grubb has a 29-10 overall record this year, while Brozovich is 28-15 in her first season as a collegian. Brozovich is 16-8 in singles, while Grubb has a stellar doubles record of 16-4.
Seniors Maddy Eccleston and Jade Johnson are 17-7 and 16-5, respectively, in doubles this season. Eccleston has 25 overall victories and Johnson 22 this year. Senior Mary Hill has 19 total wins, while freshman Drew Fillis has an 18-10 overall mark.
Eccleston, a team co-captain along with Hill, continues to climb several BGSU career lists. She has a career total of 86 doubles wins, ranking second in school history. Eccleston is just three doubles wins away from matching Christine Chiricosta's school record. Chiricosta had 89 doubles wins from 2008-11.
Eccleston now has 152 combined career victories, good for sole possession of third place on that chart. She is just one win behind second-place Deidee Bissinger (153 wins from 1997-2000) on that list. Christine Chiricosta holds the BGSU record with 178 total wins as a Falcon.
All four BGSU seniors and both Falcon juniors are on the list of the top-30 players in school history in combined career wins. All six players are within the top 20 on the school's doubles wins list, while five of the six are among the top-25 all-time Falcons in singles wins. All three lists can be found by clicking the PDF stats link near the top of this page.
IPFW enters Friday's match with a dual-match record of 6-4 on the season. The Mastodons were busy last weekend, playing four home matches in a three-day span. IPFW defeated both Robert Morris and Chicago State by 7-0 scores on Friday (Feb. 15), and the 'Dons suffered a narrow 4-3 loss to Youngstown State Sunday morning (Feb. 17) before bouncing back with a 7-0 win over Trine later in the day.
IPFW has faced three MAC opponents already this spring, losing to Toledo by a 4-3 count and to both Eastern Michigan and Ball State by 5-2 scores. The 'Dons came to Northwest Ohio to participate in the BGSU Invitational earlier this season (Sept. 21-22, 2012). IPFW finished last season with a record of 18-11. After winning the Summit League championship in each of the previous two seasons, the Mastodons lost a 4-3 decision to Oral Roberts in last year's league title match.
California is 2-2 on the year, and the Vulcans are riding a two-match winning streak. Cal U, an NCAA Division-II program, hosts Villanova on Friday (Feb. 22) before coming to Perrysburg for Sunday's match. The Vulcans, who are playing seven-straight matches vs. NCAA Division-I opponents to begin the spring, suffered 6-1 losses to MAC opponents (Miami and Toledo) to begin the dual-match schedule. Last weekend, the Vulcans defeated Carnegie Mellon, 6-3, before blanking Denison by a 9-0 result.
The Vulcans were ranked No. 8 in the ITA's NCAA Division-II fall rankings. Cal U also finished last season ranked eighth by the ITA after winning a sixth-straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title. The Vulcans also posted their sixth consecutive 20-win season, going 24-6, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in those six years.
BGSU holds a 2-0 lead over IPFW in the all-time series between the teams. The Falcons picked up a 6-1 win over the Mastodons at the PTC three years ago (Jan. 30, 2010), and BG went to Fort Wayne the following season and won by a 5-2 result (Feb. 12, 2011).
The Falcons and California (Pa.) have never met in women's tennis.
Following this weekend's matches, the Falcons will next take the court on March 16, hosting Butler at the PTC to conclude the current seven-match homestand. The next day (March 17), the Brown and Orange will be in the Windy City to face UIC in the final non-conference dual match. MAC play begins the next weekend with home matches vs. Toledo (March 22) and Eastern Michigan (March 23).
The Bulls will face Temple on Saturday, Feb. 23 and Binghamton on Sunday, Feb. 24. Both matches at 1:00 pm ET.
Women's Tennis Hosts Indoor Doubleheader Saturday with Dayton and Oakland at the Chippewa Club
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The Eastern Michigan University women's tennis team will host a pair of opponents Saturday, Feb 23, inside the Chippewa Racquet Club. The Eagles will face off with the University of Dayton (5-7) and Oakland University (0-2) at 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively.
Head Coach Ryan Ray's team currently stands at 3-6 after falling short to Louisville, Feb 8. Freshman Klara Supejova continued to find singles success upsetting No. 62 nationally ranked Rebecca Shine. Supejova is undefeated in her last seven matches and is now 8-1 in singles play.
The most recent and only time Eastern tennis has played the Flyers of Dayton was back on Feb 3, 2007. EMU traveled to Dayton's Graul Tennis complex and emerged with a 6-1 victory. The Eagles were able to set the tempo early by winning all three of the doubles matches. The Green and White then put the finishing touches on the win by taking five of six singles matches from the Flyers.
The Eagles last took the court against the Oakland Grizzles in a 7-0 shutout Jan 14, 2012. That duel, like this Saturday's, was the second act of an EMU doubleheader. Then freshmen, Ankita Bhatia and Daphne Friedrichs won their singles matches after each had a won a singles match earlier in the day. Eastern leads the all-time series 5-0.
The RedHawks will face Boston University on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Noon and Yale on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 11:00 am. Both matches will be played in New Haven, Conn.
Women's Tennis Welcomes Chicago State Friday
Huskies at Home for Second and Final Time This Month
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois plays its second - and final - home match of February on Friday when the Huskies welcome Chicago State to its indoor home at Rockford Boylan High School. NIU, which is coming off five straight road matches, and Chicago State will battle beginning at 4:30 p.m. with the doubles competition.
NIU is 8-1 on the season and has won five straight matches since suffering a 6-1 loss to Southern Illinois in its last home outing on Feb. 3. The Huskies are led by No. 1 player Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central HS), who is undefeated in both singles and doubles this year. Mary Malkin's (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) singles slate almost matches Youel's perfect record as she is 8-1 at the No. 4 spot for head coach Ryun Ferrell.
In its last four matches, Northern Illinois has a pair of 7-0 wins and two 6-1 victories. The Huskies have won the doubles point in seven of their nine matches as Youel and Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) are undefeated at No. 1 doubles, while Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe) and Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan HS) have forged a 5-2 mark at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.
Chicago State comes into Friday's match with a 3-8 record this spring. The Cougars went 1-2 last weekend in Ft. Wayne, Ind. as they defeated Robert Morris (Pa.) 6-1 before losing to IPFW and Youngstown State by 7-0 scores.
Admission to the NIU tennis matches at the Boylan Tennis Courts is free. Following Friday's match, the Huskies travel to Des Moines, Iowa for three matches March 2-3.
Rockets Travel to Duquesne for Lone Weekend Match
PITTSBURGH, PA - Toledo (4-5) will challenge Duquesne (3-3) on Friday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. inside Alpha Tennis and Fitness. The dual match is the only scheduled contest for this weekend and the final competition before UT's Spring Break trip to Orlando, FL on March 5-8.
Last weekend, the Rockets split a pair of matches on the road by capturing a narrow 4-3 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday, and falling to Illinois-Chicago in a very tight match, 5-2.
Senior Silvia Carvajal was the hero against Milwaukee as she outlasted her opponent in a three-set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles to clinch the win. Sophomore Pia Rygh notched the first UT point at No. 2 singles over Milwaukee, while freshman Katelyn Nguyen followed that up with a straight-set victory at No. 3 and freshman Emily Mazzola took the No. 5 match, also in straight sets.
In the loss to UIC, the Midnight Blue & Gold led early on in both doubles and singles competition, but was unable to hold on long enough. The Rockets posted wins in both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles flights until the Flames took control of the match through the rest of the lineup. Junior Chrissy Coffman won in straight sets at the top flight, while Rygh recorded a come-from-behind victory at No. 2 by scores of 6-7 (7-1), 7-5, 10-6.
The match turning point came at the third singles flight when Nguyen lost to her counterpart in three sets, including tiebreakers in both the second and third frames. Carvajal's match at the final singles flight also extended to a third set, but UIC grinded out the win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Following Friday's matinee, UT will have 10 days off before the first match in Orlando on March 5 against Nova Southeastern.
Women's Tennis To Host Michigan State, UIC
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan State Spartans
Friday, February 22 // 5 p.m.
Kalamazoo, Mich. // West Hills Athletic Club
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Illinois-Chicago Flames
Saturday, February 23 // 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo, Mich. // West Hills Athletic Club
THE SERIES: This will be the 31st meeting between the Broncos and the Spartans, with Michigan State holding an 18-12 advantage in the all-time series. The last time these teams met was last season, when the Broncos pushed the Spartans to the limit on the road before just narrowly falling 4-3. Nini Sujashvili recorded a huge win over Nicole Herzog in the No. 1 singles match, winning 6-4, 6-1 to cut the Spartans' lead.
This will be the 23rd meeting between the Broncos and the Flames, with Western Michigan holding a 21-1 advantage in the all-time series against UIC. That loss, though, came last season, when the Flames defeated WMU 5-2 on March 4, 2012. Caroline Aleck earned a hard-fought singles win in that match, beating Linda Hricistova 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the No. 6 singles match.
FALL MEETINGS: The Broncos and the Spartans saw members of their teams clash several times over the course of the fall season, with Kathleen Hawkins and Caroline Aleck squaring off against them at the ITA Second Chance Tournament. Hawkins defeated the Spartans' Jennifer Yen 6-0, 6-1 in a singles match, while Aleck just narrowly lost to Emily Meyers. The duo also took on members of the Spartans in a doubles match, losing 8-3 to Nicole Herzog and Michaela Silesova.
Members of the Broncos and the Flames squared off against one another several times over the course of the fall season, with UIC holding a 4-1 advantage in matches played during tournament time. The lone Broncos win came in singles play, when Nini Sujashvili defeated Keti Mebuke 6-2, 6-4 at the Wildcat Invite, hosted by Northwestern.
SCHOLARLY PURSUITS: It was announced earlier this week that Nini Sujashvili was named the Mid-American Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week for Feb. 21. Sujashvili, who carries a 3.96 GPA in Pre-Psychology, helped the Broncos dominate a doubleheader against IUPUI and Bradley on Saturday, notching a perfect 4-0 record on the day winning a pair of No. 1 singles matches, a No. 1 doubles match, and a No. 2 doubles match.