MAC Women's Tennis Championship Preview

Updated 4/25/2013

Here is a preview for the 2013 MAC Women's Tennis Championship.

 
Akron:
 
Bracket Set for This Week's MAC Tennis Championship
 
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron women's tennis team begins defense of its back-to-back Mid-American Conference tournament titles later this week, when it competes as the No. 3 seed in this year's league championship event. The conference office announced the official bracket late on Saturday, after the conclusion of the regular season.
 
UA (17-9, 5-3 MAC) faces sixth-seeded Buffalo (13-4, 4-4 MAC) at 2 p.m. in Friday's quarterfinal round at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind. The Zips defeated the Bulls 6-1 in this year's regular-season matchup in Buffalo, and have topped UB in five-straight meetings. Included in that win streak is a victory in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 MAC tournament.
 
Friday's winner will face second-seeded Bowling Green (16-4, 5-3 MAC) in the semifinal on Saturday at 2 p.m., with the title match scheduled for noon on Sunday. For the fifth-straight year, Miami (Ohio) (11-12, 7-1 MAC) is MAC regular-season champion and likewise the tournament's top seed.
 
Fans can follow the event via the MAC Tournament Central page on MAC-Sports.com. That page provides links for live statistics. The MAC will announce its all-league team later this week as well.
 
Akron finished the season in a second-place tie with Bowling Green in the league standings, but the Falcons were awarded the second seed because they defeated the Zips during the regular season.
 
The Zips earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons as the second seed and defeated top-seeded Miami (Ohio) both times. Akron won both matches 4-3, with dramatic three-set, last-match-on-court victories in each. Those are the Zips only two league tournament championships and only appearances in the title contest.
 
UA closed the regular season with a 4-3 loss at Eastern Michigan on Saturday, but ended the year by winning three of its last four contests. The Zips boast the nation's 56th-ranked doubles team in Prang Pantusart and Angelina Jogasuria. The pair is 18-0 against dual-match competition and 19-1 overall this season (8-0 in MAC play).
 
Akron faced seven ranked teams this season, and defeated then 69th-ranked Oregon 4-3 at home on February 17. The Ducks are currently ranked 70th and were listed as high 55th this season.
 
 
Pantusart and Jogasuria Listed No. 41 in ITA Doubles Rankings
 
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron doubles team of seniors Prang Pantusart and Angelina Jogasuria is ranked No. 41 in the latest edition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's National Doubles Rankings, released on Tuesday.
 
Pantusart (pictured right) and Jogasuria compete in the first flight of the Zips' doubles lineup, and jumped from No. 56 in last week's poll. The duo is 18-0 in dual-match play, 8-0 against Mid-American Conference opponents and 19-1 overall this season.
 
Third-seeded Akron (17-9, 5-3 MAC) faces sixth-seeded Buffalo (13-4, 4-4 MAC) in Friday's quarterfinal round of the MAC tournament. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET at Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind. Ball State serves as event host.
 
The Zips have won back-to-back MAC tournament titles.
 
 
Ball State:
 
Women's Tennis Host 2013 MAC Tournament This Weekend 
 
The Ball State women's tennis team will be the No. 4 seed in this week's 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament which will be hosted by the Cardinals in Muncie, Ind., at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center (April 26-28).
 
" I am thrilled for both the men and women's tennis programs at Ball State," said head women's tennis coach Christine Bader.  "I would like to say congrats to Bill Richards on another MAC Championship. I am very excited for our team as well. As a team we are accomplishing many of their goals we set at the beginning of the season.”
 
“The team is happy, but not satisfied. I believe this group is looking forward to this coming weekend. It will be a great test for our team and to see if our team continues to "hold the rope" throughout the tournament weekend. We could not ask for a better venue. It is a great opportunity to host this championship event."
 
The Cardinals will play their first tournament match April 26 against No. 5 Western Michigan at 10 a.m.  Ball State became the fourth seed after finishing the regular season with a 5-3 MAC record (14-10 overall).  The Cardinals defeated the Broncos 4-3 in the regular season in Kalamazoo (April 13).
 
Ball State's conference season was highlighted by a thrilling 4-3 season opening victory at Miami, March 23.   Before this seasons loss, Miami had previously won 33 straight MAC regular season matches.  It is only the second time in school history that Ball State has defeated the RedHawks.  Miami has won 18 MAC regular season championships, including this year.
 
Two Cardinals have received MAC weekly honors this season.  Courtney Wild earned MAC Player of the Week honors April 3, while her teammate Kristel Sanders earned the honor April 10.  Wild also received First Team All-MAC in 2012.
 
For complete information about the MAC Tournament please log onto ballstatesports.com or the tournament central page http://www.mac-sports.com/Championships/TennisW.aspx.  Admission to the event is free.   If inclement weather were to occur the tournament will be moved indoors to the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center.
 
 
Bowling Green:
 
Tennis Falcons Prepare for MAC Championships
Second-seeded BGSU to face Akron or Buffalo in Saturday's semifinal round in Muncie
 
The Bowling Green State University tennis team, after recording several milestones during the regular season, now prepares for the Mid-American Conference Championships.  The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean, the number-two seed for the six-team league tournament, head to Muncie, Ind., for a semifinal-round matchup on Saturday (April 27).  BGSU will face either the University of Akron or the University at Buffalo, with the match set to begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center.  Admission to the event is free.
 
In the event of inclement weather during the MAC Championships, matches would be moved indoors to the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center.
 
BGSU enters the weekend with an overall record of 16-4 in dual-match play, and the Falcons finished the regular season with a 5-3 mark in MAC action.  BG tied for second place in the MAC regular-season standings, the highest finish in program history, and the Falcons' number-two seed for the league tournament is also the program's best ever.
 
With a total of 16 dual-match victories this season, BGSU has tied the school record.  Dean's 1998-99 team set the record, going 16-7 overall, while her 2007-08 Falcon club finished with a 16-5 mark.
 
The Falcons closed the regular season with a 5-2 win at Western Michigan on Saturday (April 20). It was an historic day for the program for several reasons.  First, the win was BG's first against the Broncos in school history. WMU had won the first 38 matchups between the programs.
 
Additionally, the win tied the school record for victories in a season, as noted above.  And, the victory secured a spot in the MAC Championships for the Brown and Orange.  As mentioned, BGSU finished in a tie for second in the final MAC regular-season standings, earning the second seed for the league tournament.  Had the Falcons lost to WMU, BG would have missed the tournament altogether.  Only six of the nine teams qualify for the MAC Championships in 2013.
 
The balanced MAC standings saw three teams finish with 5-3 records while three additional schools went 4-4.  Miami won the regular-season crown with a 7-1 league ledger, and the RedHawks will be the number-one seed for the MAC Championships.
 
BGSU, as the second seed, earns a first-round bye and an automatic berth in the semifinals of the league tournament.  The Falcons have never advanced past the semifinal round in program history  BG's complete list of MAC Championships results (since the MAC adopted the current dual-match tourney format in 1996-97) can be found on page 5 of the PDF version of this release, just a click away at the top of the page.
 
The Falcons needed to come from behind to post the team's first-ever win over WMU.  The Broncos captured all three doubles matches, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive matches in which the Brown and Orange had taken the doubles point.  Western became the first BG opponent to win the doubles point since nationally-ranked Notre Dame on Jan. 18.
 
But, the Falcons bounced back to take five of the six singles matches, winning all five in straight sets.  Juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland won at flights one and two, respectively, while seniors Maddy Eccleston (flight three), Katie Grubb (five) and Mary Hill (six) also captured singles victories.
 
Western's lone singles win came at the fourth flight, where Kathleen Hawkins defeated Falcon freshman Katie Brozovich.   For Brozovich, the loss was her first of any kind in over three months, since that Notre Dame dual on Jan. 18.
 
BGSU's senior class comprises 50 percent of the roster for Dean and assistant coach Cindy Yonker.  That quartet, which includes co-captains Eccleston and Hill along with Grubb and Jade Johnson, has combined for 219 singles victories and 304 doubles wins heading into the MAC Championships.  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 53-32 (62.4%) 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.
 
Despite losing the doubles point at WMU, Falcon competitors still have a combined record of 43-14 over the last 19 matches.  BG tandems are 11-8 at the top doubles flight and an impressive 16-3 at both the second and third flights during that span.
 
BGSU has won the doubles point in 18 of this season's 20 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 24 times. In MAC regular-season matches in that time, BG has won the doubles point 23 times in 32 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 to begin MAC play before losing a pair of 8-6 decisions to Miami and WMU.
 
Hill and Johnson finished with a 7-1 record in MAC action at the third flight, before finally falling in the WMU match.  That duo went 13-3 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 20-4 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.  Hill and Johnson, as mentioned, went 7-1 this season.  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 14-4 this season, with all but one of those matches having come in dual-match play.  Eccleston and Grubb are 21-7 on the year and 14-4 since the start of the dual-match schedule.
 
Chiricosta and Reuland have teamed up to go 22-12 this year.  The juniors are 10-8 overall in dual matches, with all but two of those 18 matches having come at the number-one flight.
 
Chiricosta and Reuland rank one-two on the team in total wins, as Chiricosta is now 51-21 on the season, while Reuland is 45-27.  Grubb has 44 wins and Brozovich 42, and both players – like Chiricosta – have won more than two-thirds of their overall matches.  Brozovich has a winning percentage of 72.4% (42-16) in 2012-13, with Grubb at 71.0% (44-18) and Chiricosta 70.8%.  Reuland has won close to two-thirds of her matches, with a 62.5% 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 40-25 record this year, good for a 61.5% success rate.  Hill has 34 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 26 and Grubb and Reuland 20 apiece.  In doubles, Eccleston has a 26-10 record, and both Chiricosta and Reuland are 25-13.  Grubb has a stellar 24-7 doubles mark this season, while Johnson is 25-8, Hill 20-9, 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 26 this year to tie for fifth.
 
Brozovich, a MAC-Freshman-of-the-Year candidate, went 7-1 in MAC singles play.  Her loss at Western Michigan snapped streaks in which she had captured 18 consecutive singles matches and 25 overall matches (singles and doubles combined) since her last loss back on Jan. 18.
 
No Falcon ever has gone 8-0 in singles 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 that spring.
 
Eccleston, BGSU's all-time leader in doubles wins, has 95 career victories.  She broke the record of 89 set by Christine Chiricosta (2008-11) in the Falcons' win over Toledo, and has won 16 of her last 19 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 28-10 as a duo in their respective Falcon 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 fifth on the BGSU singles wins list, with 77, while Eccleston is tied for 13th with 72 victories.  Reuland is deadlocked for 15th with 68 career singles wins, with Grubb and Hill are tied for 21st place, with 58 wins apiece.
 
Eccleston is second on the BGSU combined career wins list, with a total of 167 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 – tied for fourth with 149 wins, Reuland 14th (133 wins), Grubb 16th (129), Hill tied for 18th (127) and Johnson 29th (100).
 
Akron has a 17-9 overall record, and the Zips are 5-3 in the MAC heading into Friday's first-round match vs. Buffalo.  UA tied with BGSU and Ball State for second place in the MAC standings, and earned the tourney's third seed.  Last weekend, the Zips split a pair of road matches, winning at Toledo before dropping a 4-3 decision at Eastern Michigan.  UA's other league losses came to Miami (6-1) and the Falcons (4-3 on April 5).
 
Buffalo is 13-4 overall, and the Bulls finished MAC action with a 4-4 league ledger.  UB tied for fifth place with Western Michigan and EMU, earning the sixth seed for the tourney.  Last weekend, Buffalo won two road matches, at EMU and UT, to clinch the final tournament berth.  UB also beat BGSU (5-2 on April 6) and Northern Illinois in MAC action, and lost to Miami, Ball State, WMU and Akron.
 
The Falcons lead Akron, 26-7, in the all-time series between the teams, and BG captured this year's regular-season meeting, with a 4-3 decision on the road on April 5.  That snapped a five-match UA winning streak.  Prior to that stretch, the Brown and Orange had won 16-straight matches vs. the Zips, dating to the 1992-93 season.  The teams have met twice in MAC Championships action, with BGSU winning a first-round match in 2004, and the Zips capturing a quarterfinal-round contest in '10.
 
BGSU leads Buffalo, 13-4, in that series, but the Bulls' 5-2 win on April 6 snapped BG's two-match series winning streak.  BG won the first nine series meetings, and the teams have split the last eight matchups.  The Falcons and UB, like BG and Akron, have gone 1-1 in MAC tourney matches, with BG winning a 2002 first-round match, but UB capturing a 2006 quarterfinal.
 
The winner of this weekend's MAC Championships will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
 
 
Buffalo:
 
Bulls Clinch MAC Tournament Berth 
 
The Bulls 6-1 victory over Toledo in the final regular season match improved Buffalo's conference record to 4-4, good for a fifth place tie with Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.  Following the tiebreaker procedures, Buffalo will be the #6 seed in the upcoming tournament, opening quarterfinal play on Friday.  The Bulls also improve to 13-4 overall.
 
The MAC Championships will be held this weekend in Muncie, Ind.  Friday's (April 26) first-round pairings have #3 seed Akron vs. #6 seed Buffalo, and #4 seed Ball State vs. #5 seed WMU.
 
Second-seeded BGSU will face the UA-UB winner, while #1 seed Miami will meet the BSU-WMU survivor in Saturday's (April 27) semifinal round.  The semifinal-round winners will meet in the championship match on Sunday (April 28).
 
 
Miami:
 
RedHawks Captured Fifth Consecutive MAC Regular Season Title and Have No. 1 Seed for MAC Tournament
 
Miami captured its fifth straight Mid-American Conference regular-season tennis championship last Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Northern Illinois. The RedHawks finished the conference schedule 7-1, two games ahead of Bowling Green and Akron.
 
Miami (11-12 overall) will look for its first tournament championship since 2010 next weekend when it takes the court in Muncie, Ind. The RedHawks open play Saturday morning at 10 a.m. against the winner of a quarterfinal match between No. 4 seed and host Ball State and fifth-seeded Western Michigan.
 
 
Western Michigan:
 
Broncos Earn No. 5 Seed in MAC Tournament
 
The Broncos earned the No. 5 seed in the MAC Women's Tennis Championship and will face No. 4 seed Ball State on Friday, April 26 at 10 am ET.  The MAC Championship is hosted by Ball State University.