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Shtyen, Rajkovic lead Miami Invitational

By Krista Savage, News Editor

The Miami University women's tennis team hosted Xavier University, Butler University and Lipscomb University in the Miami Invitational this weekend in Oxford, Ohio. Despite a rain delay that postponed the second half of Saturday's matches, the team finished strong on Sunday, ending with a 17-2 singles record and 6-5 in doubles.

"I am very satisfied with our performance today," head coach Yana Carollo said. "Xavier is a team that is big competition for us, and the team did really well against them."

The matches played this weekend did not count towards the team's overall regular season record, but it did contribute to the players' individual records.

Miami's No. 1 singles player Hannah Shtyen defeated Lipscomb's Laura Kent 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"[Hannah] pulled out a good match, she didn't break down," Carollo said. "She kept fighting … she stepped up to the level I needed her to."

Other notable performances came from senior Ana Rajkovic, who went undefeated in her singles, and junior Andreea Badileanu, who beat Xavier's Amina Ismail 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.

"I am happy to be on this team, we finished last year well, but we have even bigger goals this year," Rajkovic said. "My performance today was nice, it gave me confidence and motivation to work harder … and keep up my performance to this level throughout the rest of this year."

Rajkovic is the only senior on Miami's nine-member team and is optimistic about the younger players.

"Now I feel like I have certain responsibilities," she said. "I feel like I can use what I have learned to help them in their first few months here."

The RedHawks travel to Virginia this weekend for two tournaments. The team will split in half, and one group will take on the University of Virginia in the UVA Invitational, while the other group visits Virginia Tech for the VA Tech Invitational.

Carollo said the team has much work to do between now and the next time MU takes the court.

"We definitely need to work on our speed and our foot work," she said. "I still feel we are not positioned well on the court like I would like us to be … we need to be more aggressive. I feel that the girls coming off the summer and not playing that much tennis is playing a role here, but that is going to be our new focus, targeting and moving."