RedHawks look to break losing streak
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 21:02
After sustaining its second consecutive loss against Marshall University, the Miami University women’s tennis team hopes to end that streak as they face Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Sunday in Hamilton, Ohio. The current two-match losing streak is tied for the RedHawks’ longest this season, as they fell to 49th ranked Indiana University and the University of Louisville to start off the year. The ’Hawks currently have eight matches to go until the start of Mid-American Conference play.
Miami (2-5) has plenty to build on as it prepares to face the Blue Raiders. Juniors Christiana Raymond and Nimisha Mohan, along with sophomore Alix Thurman, have each won at least 10 sets in singles at this point in the season, with sophomore Christine Guerrazzi not far behind with nine wins. Thurman also has won three straight matches in singles, which is the longest current streak for the Red and White. Mohan and Thurman were the lone victors in singles against Marshall on Sunday in matches that were decided in three sets.
“We gained some confidence and had some close matches on Sunday,” Thurman said. “This week, we’re working on keeping our energy going, keeping the leads we have, and just putting more pressure on the opponent and being more aggressive.”
However, the ’Hawks have struggled in doubles play for much of the young season with an 8-13 record thus far. In four of its five losses, Miami failed to get the doubles point and have yet to sweep a team in doubles. The team of Raymond and Thurman got the RedHawks’ lone doubles win against the Thundering Herd on Sunday.
“We’re changing up the doubles teams and trying to find an equal balance of underclassmen and upperclassmen,” Mohan said. “Also, after some of us played in three-set matches on Sunday, we’re working on having everyone compete at the same high level.”
Head coach Anca Dumitrescu also discussed the team’s play in doubles.
“We’re really going to focus on our doubles this week,” she said. “Some things that we need to work on are getting better movement and improving our shot selection. The players have their own needs that they are focusing on also.”
Middle Tennessee State (2-4) is coming off of a hotly contested 4-3 triumph at the University of Alabama Birmingham. In that match, the doubles teams of freshman Irina Constantinide and sophomore Nayara Moraes as well as redshirt senior Carla Nava and senior Yuiri Nomoto got the doubles point for the Blue Raiders with 8-3 and 8-5 wins, respectively.
In singles action, Moraes, Nava, and junior Flavia Nagayama all picked up the wins needed to clinch the match. Before leaving to take on Miami, MTSU must first deal with Butler University in Friday, Feb. 15 in Indianapolis, In.
The RedHawks start play against the Blue Raiders at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Riverside Athletic Club in Hamilton and will have to make a quick turnaround as they will have to compete at the University of Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon.
“Our fitness and conditioning will play a part in the match on Tuesday,” Dumitrescu said. “Having two days in between will help us go out and compete.”