Tennis program at the top of Miami athletics
Riding high after yet another Mid-American Conference title in a 4-2 victory over Eastern Michigan University, the Miami University women's tennis team will represent the school for the second consecutive year in the NCAA Tournament against Northwestern University May 9, the second time it will do so in the program's history. This unprecedented dominance in the sport is only rivaled on Miami's campus by the impressive exploits of the synchronized skating team and far surpasses the performance of every other team here at Miami.
The RedHawks have been guided by fourth-year head coach Anca Dumitrescu, a three-time MAC Coach of the Year whose four MAC titles (regular season and tournament) are tied for second place in program history behind Wendy Sweney's five titles. Sweney won those titles while going undefeated in conference play during her tenure at Miami. Dumitrescu is 30-2 in MAC contests as head coach of the RedHawks. The program has had a history of dominance within the MAC as it has a record of 211-35 all-time in conference play and boasts 21 MAC Championships.
As far as the team is concerned, there have been 33 All-MAC First Team honorees to play for Miami, with senior Nimisha Mohan picking up the honor for a second time this season by going 16-10 overall and 5-3 in conference in single matches while going 12-4 and 7-0 in the conference with freshman Andreea Badileanu in doubles play. Badileanu became the fifth player in program history to earn the distinction of being named MAC Freshman of the Year following a season in which she went 28-9 overall and 5-2 in the MAC in singles action.
The women's tennis program's dominance is coming at a time in which few of Miami's teams are actually competing for conference championships year-in and year-out despite Miami marketing itself as a "Culture of Champions." In the 2013-2014 season, only two in-season sports claimed championships: the aforementioned synchronized skating team with its tenth straight national title and the field hockey team with its second straight MAC title. Women's tennis has been one of the few that has lived up to the university's self-promotion and looks to be the standard-bearer for all Miami sports programs.
As the RedHawks look to take down an opponent in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, it is important to acknowledge the team for what it is: one of the best teams that Miami has to offer.
But is it the best? While other teams have a winning history that is more embedded into the public consciousness (football, men's basketball and ice hockey), the women's tennis team has sustained its domination from its inception in 1974 and onward. That is something the synchronized skating can't say as it has only been a varsity program since 1996. So, in other words, yes, the women's tennis is atop of Miami athletics and it is hard to see how it is ever coming down off its lofty perch.
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