By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
After winning its 12th straight Mid-American Conference match, its eighth consecutive match overall and a share of the MAC title for the seventh straight season, the Miami University women's tennis team wraps up the regular season at home against Ball State University.
The RedHawks (13-6, 7-0 MAC) top the conference standings, while the Cardinals (13-4, 3-2 MAC) rank third. Miami can clinch the regular season MAC title outright with a win or a loss by Western Michigan University against Northern Illinois University.
The match will also be Senior Day for seniors Ramona Costea, Christine Guerrazzi and Alix Thurman.
"We're working on keeping the girls motivated," head coach Yana Carollo said. "It's the end of the season and it's been demanding on them, but we've been focused. They've done a good job of focusing. We're still getting ready for the MAC Tournament. Motivation will continue to be big for us moving forward."
The team's doubles record is 13-3 in conference play. Costea and sophomore Andreea Badileanu paired up to win their 13th straight match last weekend with a 6-0 decision against Bowling Green State University.
Miami has been rolling singles action since entering MAC play March 20. The RedHawks have dropped only five singles matches in conference this season. Three players have won seven straight matches during this stretch: Guerrazzi, freshman Nelli Ponomareva and freshman Hannah Shteyn.
Guerrazzi is first place in program history in career singles wins after picking up her 81st victory against Toledo April 5. Badileanu won MAC Women's Tennis Player of the Week twice this season and is 5-1 in MAC singles.
In the past two matches, no player for the Red and White was taken to three sets.
"We've been working on our doubles, doing a lot of serve and return, as well as working on singles," Shteyn, who shares a 6-0 MAC doubles record with Thurman, said. "We're really working on being aggressive. We want to keep the streak going this weekend, and going 8-0 in the MAC would be a really big deal for us."
Miami hosts Ball State University (13-4, 3-2 MAC) 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hepburn Varsity Courts.
The Cardinals roll into the meeting with the RedHawks, having won three straight matches. Junior Courtney Earnest leads BSU with a 17-4 singles record and a 13-4 doubles record. The Cards host Bowling Green and Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis Friday before leaving Oxford.