RedHawks prepare to take on Ball State
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 00:03
After ending the non-conference portion of its schedule on a four-match losing streak during a seven-match road stand, the Miami University women’s tennis team is seeking to right the ship as it starts Mid-American Conference (MAC) play in Oxford against Ball State University (BSU) Saturday.
“We’re ready for the MAC opener,” assistant coach Ricardo Rosas said. “We had a tough non-conference schedule, but it gave us the opportunity to work on things that we needed to improve on, like overcoming adversity and building confidence. We had some tough losses but we learned a lot and the players are ready to give a good effort.”
The RedHawks (4-11) have swept the Cardinals (9-7) 7-0 in each of the last two seasons, and are preparing to start their journey towards a fifth straight regular season MAC title. The Cardinals are 3-7 in road matches this season and the ’Hawks are 3-2 at home.
Despite its struggles so far this season, Miami’s team has had some strong individual performances. Junior Nimisha Mohan has won six of her last seven matches in singles play, including her current run of two following the matches against the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida. She leads the team with nine singles wins. Meanwhile, sophomores Alix Thurman and Christine Guerrazzi form a productive doubles team for the Red and White, winning three straight matches in late February. They are both 12-14 overall in doubles matches this season. Thurman is also second on the team in singles wins with 17. She trails only Mohan, who has 18.
“We faced some strong competition in non-conference play, but we still need to work hard as we head into the MAC season,” Thurman said. “We have a lot of expectations and we can’t take any school lightly since we’re the target. We need to keep playing at a high level and get it done.”
BSU snapped a six-match losing streak Friday with back-to-back 7-0 sweeps of Aquinas College and Oakland University in Muncie, Ind. on a day when BSU did not drop a single set and only had five sets that were closer than 6-2. The Cardinals have had a high level of production all season long from the tandem of freshman Courtney Earnest and sophomore Courtney Wild. Earnest is 21-7 for the year in singles matches and Wild is 19-7. They earned sound victories against their opponents on Friday afternoon. Earnest and Wild also form a potent doubles team, posting a 6-4 record this season.
The RedHawks face BSU 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hepburn varsity tennis courts on North Quad.