Miami drops first home match in 4 years
The Miami University women's tennis team showed inconsistencies this weekend, as it fell to Eastern Kentucky University 2-5 Saturday and split Sunday's doubleheader with a 6-1 win over California University of Pennsylvania and a 4-3 loss to Xavier University. The weekend featured the first home matches of the season for the RedHawks (2-4).
"This weekend was really tough having never lost a home match in four years," Junior Christiana Raymond said. "However, especially the second day of matches, everyone fought hard. The match against Xavier came down to only a couple points. We were right there, and we know how we can improve going into the matches for next weekend at Marshall."
The match against Eastern Kentucky (3-2) started off with the team of junior Christiana Raymond and sophomore Alix Thurman earning an 8-1 victory. The Colonels rebounded with an 8-5 decision by sophomore Melissa Gerritsen and junior Saioa Ozcoz over junior Nimisha Mohan and sophomore Christine Guerrazzi. Miami's freshman tandem of Ana Rajkovic and Chloe Heerden earned the double point for the RedHawks with an 8-5 victory.
Eastern Kentucky responded in singles with a 6-1, 6-3 win by sophomore Kristina Labeja over Thurman. The Red and White answered back with Raymond's 6-2, 6-2 victory over Gerritsen. It became EKU's match after that point, despite the efforts from Guerrazzi and Heerden. Guerrazzi took the first set in her match against Ozcoz, but would go on to drop the next two sets by a score of 3-6. Meanwhile, Heerden dug herself out of a hole after falling 4-6 in the first set against sophomore Marcela Jimenez by taking the second set 6-1. She eventually lost in the third set 4-6.
The RedHawks continued their high level of play in doubles against California (Pa.) (0-1) by winning two of the three matches.
Miami was impressive in singles play against the 8th ranked team in Division II as the 'Hawks took five matches against California (Pa.), three of which only required two sets.
Xavier (4-1) started off doubles play Sunday afternoon by sweeping all three matches against the 'Hawks.
In singles, the Musketeers took an early lead over the RedHawks with senior Katie Pleiman earning a 6-1, 6-1 win over Raymond to earn their second point of the match. The Red and White then responded with 6-0, 6-1 victory by Thurman. Xavier responded with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph by freshman Alex Brinker over Mohan. The see-saw affair would continue as Miami's Guerrazzi defeated senior Kally Alkire 7-5, 6-3 to set the score at 3-2 in favor of Xavier, until junior Andrea Wolf earned the winning point for the Musketeers with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 decision over Costea. Heerden got a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory for the final point of the match.
Head coach Anca Dumitrescu spoke of her team's performance over the weekend.
"We definitely faced a lot of adversity this weekend and we have a lot to learn from it," she said. "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."
The RedHawks now must travel to Huntington, W.Va. to take on Marshall University 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.
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