RedHawks ready for road stand against WMU and Bowling Green
After reeling off four consecutive victories in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play, the Miami University women's tennis team is getting hot at the right time as it gets set to hit the road to face Western Michigan University and Bowling Green State University. Miami is tied for first place in the MAC with Western and the matches will be its first road matches in MAC play. The RedHawks (8-12, 4-1 MAC) would clinch a share of the regular season conference title for the fifth consecutive year with wins over the Broncos (11-10, 4-1 MAC) and the Falcons (14-3, 3-2 MAC).
Over the course of its winning streak, Miami has had a considerable amount of success in singles play. Junior Ramona Costea has earned six straight wins in singles, five of which came during MAC play. Junior Christiana Raymond and sophomore Christine Guerrazzi are on runs of their own, as Raymond has won five consecutive matches while Guerrazzi has won four in a row. Junior Nimisha Mohan has won five of her last seven matches on her way to earning 12 wins in singles this season.
"A big part of my game [in singles] is just grinding it out and running after every ball," Raymond said. "I'm working to be a little more consistent and just keep it up."
Consistency in doubles has also improved for the 'Hawks during their streak as they have earned the doubles point in three of their last four matches. The team of Raymond and Costea has won four of their last five matches while Mohan and Thurman have earned victories in four straight matches in doubles.
"We've been working on doubles drills this week," Raymond said. "Winning the doubles point is crucial and we've been able to build momentum after getting the point in our matches in the MAC. We're focusing on our goals, staying together, and staying focused since it's a big weekend for us."
Assistant Coach Ricardo Rosas also spoke of improving the doubles performances.
"This week, we're not working on anything new; we're just putting in some good repetitions," Rosas said. "We're still focusing on being aggressive, coming forward, and being good competitors."
Western Michigan had a four-match winning streak of its own until they fell 5-2 to the University of Akron Saturday. WMU is 7-4 at home this season and fell 5-2 to the RedHawks last season in Oxford.
The Bowling Green team, meanwhile, is coming off its first MAC loss on the road this season as it fell to the University at Buffalo 5-2 Saturday, which puts it in a logjam for second place in the MAC standings with Akron and Ball State University. Freshman Katie Brozovich has been carrying the load in singles this season as she has won 16 consecutive matches in singles play. Paired with freshman Drew Fillis, Brozovich has had similar success in doubles with eight consecutive wins as a team. This season, BGSU is 9-1 at home and dropped matches to Miami in the regular season and in the MAC Tournament 5-2 and 4-0, respectively.
"It's a big weekend for us but it's also just another match," Rosas said. "We just need to trust the gameplan and play good tennis. We need to put all the pieces together this weekend."
The RedHawks will take on the Broncos 1 p.m. Friday, at the Sorenson Courts in Kalamazoo, Mich. They will return to Ohio to face the Falcons 1 p.m. Saturday, at the Keefe Courts at Bowling Green.
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