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Miami looks to rebound against Cats and Cards

By Jordan Rinard
On January 24, 2013

After No. 49 Indiana University (IU) swept the Miami University women's tennis team 0-7 to open the spring season, the Red and White seek to right the ship as they hit the road to face the University of Louisville and the University of Cincinnati this weekend. During the 2011-2012 season, the RedHawks downed Louisville 4-3 and Cincinnati 6-1.

The 'Hawks (0-1) hope to have a stronger showing this weekend after their defeat at the hands of the Hoosiers in Western Hills. Junior Christiana Raymond and freshman Chloe Heerden were the only singles players for the Red and White to push around their opponents and had opportunities to pick up set wins, while the usually consistent junior Ramona Costea and sophomore Christine Guerrazzi struggled to get things going against IU as they were both defeated 4-6, 0-6.

The play of the doubles teams last weekend showed that there is room for improvement, as they scored four games compared to the 24 by Indiana, three of which were accounted for by the team of junior Nimisha Mohan and sophomore Alix Thurman in a 3-8 decision.

"We have been working on running down the ball and competing hard this week in practice," Heerden said. "We are trying to keep out team spirit up and work together."

The Cardinals (2-0), meanwhile, hit the ground running as they started their season with sweeps of Xavier University and Morehead State University. Louisville won each contest rather decisive manner, with junior Julia Fellerhoff, who is ranked the No. 84 singles player in the country, and senior Stefanie Villajuan being the only players to lose a set in singles play.

Some of the key returning players for the Cards' are junior Rebecca Shine, who is ranked 62nd nationally in singles, and sophomore Manuela Velasquez, due to their efforts on the court in the 2011-2012 spring season, during which they combined for a 27-14 record in singles and 25-13 in doubles.

The Bearcats (0-1) suffered the same fate as the RedHawks last weekend as they were also swept 0-7 by Indiana in Western Hills, Cincinnati in a doubleheader. The only singles competitor that fought her way to a third set was junior Sierra Sullivan with a 6-3, 0-6 (5-10) decision against the Hoosiers' sophomore Shannon Murdy. The Bearcats are returning junior Ashleigh Witte, who earned a record of 14-11 last season and was the only member of the team to have a winning record in singles.

"We are working on becoming more competitive in matches this week," Costea said. "We look forward to having hard practices this week and we are going to do our best to fight for every point this weekend."

Miami travels to face Louisville Saturday 4 p.m. and will then make its way back to Ohio to take on Cincinnati 3 p.m. Sunday.

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