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Women’s tennis falls to Nebraska, beats Memphis

By Scott Sutton, For The Miami Student

The Miami University tennis team split its weekend matches, losing Friday to University of Nebraska (8-1) and winning Saturday against University of Memphis (2-5).

The RedHawks lost 4-3 against the Huskers Friday evening at the Sid and Hazel Tennis Center. Senior Ana Rajkovic and junior Andreea Badileanu started the match with a 6-2 doubles win, their fifth consecutive win, to tie the overall match at one doubles win apiece. Nebraska won the third doubles match 6-4, clinching the doubles point and taking a 1-0 lead into singles play.

Nebraska was first to win three singles matches, all in straight sets, to win the day's match.

Miami closed out the day with three consecutive victories in tiebreaking third sets. Freshman Anzhelika Shapovalova beat senior Maggy Lehmicke 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-8); Rajkovic beat freshman Paula Del Cueto Castillo 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) and freshman Emily Struble beat freshman Vasanti Shinde 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).

On Saturday, the 'Hawks knocked off the Memphis Tigers 5-2 with a nearly perfect singles matchup in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

"I think we put the loss to Nebraska behind us and went out knowing that it was a new day and another opportunity to get a win," Struble said. "Against Nebraska, my match came down to a ten-point tiebreaker. Two of my teammates were in the same position at the same time and it came down to who could perform the best under pressure. I just ran down every ball I could and just focused on every ball, every point."

The singles wins came from Struble, sophomore Anastasiia Vasiukhina, Shapovalova, Badlieanu, and sophomore Hannah Shteyn.

Struble topped Tiger's junior Gabrielle Paul 6-2, 6-1; Vasiukhina defeated sophomore Tara McElroy 7-6, 6-2; Badlieanu won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 over sophomore Hanna Sohn and Shteyn beat freshman Janina Berres 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

Doubles play was a different story, as the RedHawks picked up one victory. The duo of Shapovalova and Shteyn defeated senior Kathryn Hughes and junior Marta Morga 6-1, breaking their three-match losing streak.

"We were focused on fighting and playing as well as we could against Memphis," Shteyn said. "We had a lot going for us and just executed as best as we could. We incorporated everything in practices and did a very good job of displaying it in that final match."

The team travels to Lexington, Kentucky Saturday to face off against Samford University (3-4).

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