By Alex McKeon, For The Miami Student
The Miami University women's tennis is looking to defend its Mid American Conference (MAC) title, but is doing so with a new head coach. Under new head coach Yana Carollo, who recently took over for Anca Dumitrescu, who resigned to spend more time with her family, the RedHawks look to continue the largely dominant tradition of Miami women's tennis.
One of the biggest factors for this team is replacing the two seniors they lost in the offseason: Nimisha Mohan (First-team all-MAC) and Christiana Raymond (team captain). They added two freshmen (Erin Rodriguez and Hannah Shteyn) and also add Diana Suarez, who redshirted last year.
It remains to be seen how the production will be replaced, but the talent is there, and the coaching staff feels confident they not only will win the MAC again, but rise to a new level.
"We would love to be nationally ranked, we want to keep winning conference tournaments, maybe doing it more effectively," Carollo said. "I definitely want our girls to enjoy their time here, improve their tennis skills and continue to grow in the classroom."
As a carryover from the past eleven seasons assistant coach Ricardo Rosas brings a level of familiarity to the program.
"We have a really good quality team and they have shown that throughout the years," Rosas said. "Now that I am working with Yana, I think it's going to be an exciting time, we are going to bring new things to the team, and I think the goal as Coach Yana said is to continue to be at the top of the MAC but more than that, to be nationally ranked, and I think with the players we have we will be able to do it."
Christine Guerrazzi, a senior leader of the RedHawks has expectations this season.
"I think our team goals this year are to play our best, and win the MAC tournament again, and hopefully make the second round of the NCAA's," Guerrazzi said.
Alix Thurman, another senior said Miami wants to "beat some ranked schools." Beating ranked opponents could be the biggest factor for this team in reaching its goals. While last year's squad was able to roll through MAC play, its struggled against its non-conference foes.
They missed chances against teams like Indiana Univeristy, Marshall University, the University of Nebraska, the University of North Texas and the University of Louisville. While the win over Southern Methodist University was strong, the RedHawks lack of success showed in a loss to Northwestern University in the NCAA tournament.
The 'Hawks will get another crack at Indiana and Marshall, as well as the likes University of Wisconsin, Georgia State University and Boston University.
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Getting more exposure, along with better results will prepare this team for the road ahead. The RedHawks open their season at the Miami Invitational, held in Oxford, Ohio on Sept. 13-14.