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MU takes MAC tournament

By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer

After clinching the top seed for the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament with a 4-3 win over Ball State University Sunday, the Miami University women's tennis team is ready to host the tournament for chance to return to the NCAA Tournament.

Two RedHawks received MAC honors following the win last weekend. Senior Alix Thurman was named to the first team All-MAC for her 22-13 (5-3 MAC) record this season. Sophomore Andreea Badileanu was named to the second team All-MAC for the second consecutive season for her 24-13 (5-2 MAC) regular season mark.

The RedHawks (14-6, 8-0 MAC) will take on the winner of the first round match between No. 4 Eastern Michigan University and the No. 5 University of Toledo.

Freshman Hannah Shteyn is undefeated in both MAC singles (8-0) and doubles (8-0) in her short career for Miami. Her doubles partner, Thurman, holds a 5-3 record in conference singles and is on a three-match winning streak.

Senior Christine Guerrazzi and freshman Nelli Ponomareva as are a combined 13-2 in MAC singles play, but have struggled as a doubles team. The pair is 3-2 in league play.

The tandem of senior Ramona Costea and Badileanu own a 6-1 doubles record. Badileanu in another asset in singles, putting up a 5-2 conference record.

The RedHawks won over 80 percent of their matches in singles (.833) and doubles (.810) this season in MAC play.

For the second time this season, Miami swept MAC Player of the Week honors this week. Thurman took the singles award, while Guerrazzi and Ponomareva took doubles award.

"We're working on being more consistent," junior Ana Rajkovic said. "We'll have to adjust whether we're playing inside or outside, but we're looking to pick up where we left off. We're expecting fight from the other teams; they've made improvement as the MAC season wore on. We're focused on us. If we do a good job of staying together and fighting, we can do it."

Eastern Michigan (8-13, 4-4 MAC) can be dangerous in the tournament than their record shows, as it has won three of its last four matches. However, no player has more than four wins in league singles this season, and its doubles teams have a win percentage of .389 in conference play.

Meanwhile, Toledo (13-9, 4-4 MAC) skids into Oxford on a three-match losing streak. In doubles, junior Mackenzie Bowman and freshman Sidnay Huck are 5-1 in MAC play. The team is 22-26 in conference singles.

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"I'm expecting us to be invested, to bring positive energy, and to fight this weekend," head coach Yana Carrolo said. "We've done a good job of being together as a team. We might have to go indoors Saturday, but we played these teams before and we have to execute our individual game plans. Our game plans don't change much from team to team; we just have to execute."

Miami plays in the semifinal match at 10 a.m. Saturday. The matches are scheduled for the Hepburn Courts on campus but may be moved to the Riverside Athletic Club in Hamilton if there is threat of inclement weather.