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MU set for home opener

By Jordan Rinard
On January 31, 2013

After earning its first win of the season last weekend, the Miami University women's tennis team would like to build on its success with its home opener in Hamilton this weekend against Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Saturday, and a doubleheader with California University of Pennsylvania and Xavier University (XU) the following day.

"It will be nice not to take a trip somewhere this weekend," junior Nimisha Mohan said. "We are looking forward to competing and preparing for our three matches this weekend."

The RedHawks (1-2) are coming off of a decisive 6-1 win at the University of Cincinnati Sunday, but they seek to improve even more as they inch closer to conference play.

Mohan, sophomore Christine Guerrazzi, junior Christiana Raymond, and freshman Chloe Heerden all looked impressive in singles action as they picked up wins against the Bearcats, while the tandems of Guerrazzi and Mohan along with Heerden and fellow freshman Ana Rajkovic picked up the doubles point for the Red and White.

"We fought and competed hard, and achieved what we wanted to achieve," Mohan said. "On Sunday, we competed at a high level and the team became more connected and confident."

Rajkovic echoed the same sentiments.

"It felt satisfying (to win the match)," she said. "It felt good to come together and compete very well."

Eastern Kentucky (2-1) had an impressive start to the spring season as it won its first two matches rather decisively, defeating Eastern Michigan University 6-1 and swept University of the Cumberlands 7-0. EKU then fell to Xavier 3-4 for its first loss of the season.

The Colonels also boast some talented competitors. Sophomore Melissa Gerritsen has yet to be defeated in a singles or doubles match, while junior Milena Poffo has rolled in her two singles matches of the season, winning 6-0, 6-0 against Cumberlands and 6-2, 6-2 against Xavier.

California (Pa.) opens its season against the RedHawks after having a successful fall season. Freshman Alexandra Borgenhoff and sophomore Lucie Rey both had double-digit wins in singles play (12 and 10, respectively), and teams of Rey and junior Lucie Sipkova along with sophomore Ramona Czakon and senior Jade Pondicas combined to go 18-4 in doubles action.

Xavier (2-1), meanwhile, got wins early in the season by beating the University of Detroit 5-2 and narrowly earning a 4-3 victory over Eastern Kentucky. However, the Musketeers did struggle against the formidable University of Louisville as they were swept 0-7.

In the match against EKU, XU had strong showings from its key players. Senior Katie Pleiman, freshman Alex Brinker, and junior Andrea Wolf all earned quick victories in singles, while the duos of Pleiman and senior Kally Alkire along with Wolf and sophomore Daniella Patton got the doubles point with their victories.

"We look forward to seeing what the ladies' competitive spirit and mental toughness will be like this weekend," assistant coach Ricardo Rosas said. "Eastern Kentucky is a good team, and having two matches on Sunday will be a challenge. Our fitness will play a role in overcoming adversity this weekend."

Rajkovic also spoke of the challenges that this weekend presents.

"It will be a tough three matches," she said. "We're very excited for the opportunity and look forward to giving our best fight."

The RedHawks begin action on the court at the Riverside Athletic Club in Hamilton against Eastern Kentucky at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and host the doubleheader against California (Pa.) and Xavier the following day at 10 a.m and 4 p.m., respectively.

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