By Scott Sutton, For The Miami Student
After a two-week break, the Miami University tennis team (5-4) resumes action this weekend against No. 53 Georgia State University (5-4) and No. 56 Winthrop University (7-1).
In their last time out, the RedHawks defeated Samford University (3-5) and Wright State University (5-2). They are on a three-match winning streak.
Freshman Anhelika Shapovalova is on a four-match win streak, including a three-match win streak in doubles with partner sophomore Hannah Shteyn. Shapovalova and Shteyn contributed to the 7-0 shutout against Wright State on Feb. 28 by beating opponents Karoline Haller and Linsey Verstepen 6-4. Shapolova's overall record is 12-11, with a 5-4 record in dual matches.
"Going into this weekend, we're just going to keep playing our games," Shteyn said. "We have nothing to lose in both matches, so that really allows us to play freely and with confidence. I think generally going outdoors is a big change, so we're going to have to be a bit more patient and consistent, but I think overall, no matter what opponents, we need to stick with doing what we do best."
Shteyn is on a three-match win streak.
Head coach Yana Carollo said her young players are stepping up as she had hoped. Like Shteyn, Carollo is concerned with the team playing in a different setting.
"Hopefully we can keep our fire going but we are going to play outside for these two matches," Carollo said. "At this point, we are playing outside to get used to outdoor tennis conditions. I feel that against Georgia State we will be playing more offensive tennis, whereas Winthrop will try to use their outside versatile tennis and keep us in the point longer. We will have to rely on our ability to adjust quickly to the opponent's game and execute our strategies."
Georgia State has lost three consecutive outings since starting the season 5-1. Last weekend, the Panthers lost to No. 38 Columbia, 5-2, and to No. 70 Princeton, 6-1. Winthrop has grabbed eight consecutive victories. In its last outing on March 8, Winthrop swept UNC Asheville, 7-0.
Match play against Georgia State begins at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. Match play against Winthrop begins at 10:00 a.m. Sunday.