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Miami struggles against UK

By Jordan Rinard
On February 21, 2013

The Miami University women's tennis team faced a setback on Tuesday in the form of a 5-2 defeat against the University of Kentucky. For the RedHawks (3-6), it marks their second consecutive road loss and their third on the season.

The Wildcats (6-2) got off on the right foot in doubles as the team of sophomore Stephanie Fox and senior Jessica Stiles earned an 8-2 victory over junior Christiana Raymond and freshman Chloe Heerden. Kentucky then clinched the doubles point as sophomore Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff and junior CeCe Witten got an 8-2 win over junior Nimisha Mohan and freshman Ana Rajkovic. Miami was able to prevent the doubles sweep with an 8-7 decision by the sophomore tandem of Christine Guerrazzi and Alix Thurman over junior Caitlyn McGraw and freshman Nadia Ravita.

The Red and White drew even in singles as Mohan took the first set at 6-2, as Morin-Kougoucheff retired from the match due to injury. Ravita then responded for UK as she triumphed 6-1, 6-2 over Raymond. McGraw then defeated Guerrazzi 6-4, 6-2 to put the score at 3-1 and Stiles would clinch the match with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Thurman. To close out the match, Fox earned a 6-3, 6-1 win over Heerden while Rajkovic got a 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 victory over Witten for the 'Hawks.

"I think this was a big match for all of us and that we all learned something new we will apply in next matches," said Rajkovic. "As for my match, I finished last and it was very tough, but my teammates were there to cheer on me and that helped a lot. Even though we lost, I truly believe we grew up as a team and that we will have more success in upcoming matches."

Head coach Anca Dumitrescu also elaborated Tuesday's match.

"We definitely faced a lot of adversity this weekend and we have a lot to learn from it," she said. "I was happy to see Ana come through in a tough match yesterday after already having been playing for four hours earlier in the day. I believe that we have to continue to work hard and get each player on the team to play to their potential on the same day. I don't think we are anywhere close to our potential as a team yet but the beauty of tennis is that you have another opportunity to get closer to that potential each match. We have to stay positive and keep fighting for each other and for our goals."

For the second and third matches of their seven-match road stand, the RedHawks will make their way to the East Coast this weekend to take on Boston University and Yale University. Boston (3-1) had a hot start to begin the season with three consecutive victories, but lost a nail biter to the 75th ranked University of Wisconsin. In that match, senior Vivien Laszloffy and freshman Kim McCallum were the only players to earn wins in singles action. On the season for Boston, McCallum is on a roll right now as she is undefeated in singles.

No. 24 Yale (4-1) is coming into the weekend on a bit of a run as it posted consecutive wins over Florida International University and the 37th ranked University of Arkansas. Against the Panthers, the 53rd ranked doubles team of senior Sarah Guzick and junior Annie Sullivan took their match 8-3 while the duo of senior Elizabeth Epstein and freshman Madeleine Hamilton triumphed in an 8-1 decision to help earn the doubles point. Hamilton, the 90th ranked singles player in the country, earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory to help the Bulldogs coast to a 6-1 win over the Razorbacks.

Miami faces Boston 12 p.m. Saturday, and will then go on to play Yale 11 a.m. Sunday. The matches will take place at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn.

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