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Tennis loses back-to-back in South Carolina

By Scott Sutton, For The Miami Student

The Miami University tennis team (5-6) lost both of its matches this weekend against Georgia State (7-4) and Winthrop University (9-2) in Rock Hill, S.C.

Due to harsh weather, Miami combined its weekend into a doubleheader. The Winthrop match was originally scheduled for Sunday but was moved to Saturday. Miami fell to No. 53 Georgia State, 4-1, and followed with a 6-1 loss to No. 56 Winthrop.

Entering the weekend, head coach Yana Carollo was concerned about moving to an outdoor setting, and the match results justified those concerns.

"I think we played two very good outside teams and were not very 'outside' ready for them," head coach Yana Carollo said. "We struggled with simple things due to outdoor tennis. We have to keep playing outside as much as possible right now to prepare for outside season and finish up strong."

Miami did not win a doubles match against either team.

In the Georgia State match, the duos of sophomores Nelli Ponomareva and Anastasiia Vasiukhina lost 6-4, freshman Anzhelika Shapovalova and sophomore Hannah Shteyn lost 6-2, and junior Andreea Badileanu and senior Ana Rajkovic lost 6-1.

Miami took one singles win with Shteyn, who defeated Georgia State's freshman Lara Vovk 6-3, 6-1. Freshman Emily Struble's match against freshman Chiara Volejnicek and Shapovalova's match against senior Linn Timmermann went unfinished.

"The outdoor environment really took a toll on our team for both matches," Struble said. "We were not extra-focused on every ball and every point. Georgia State was a very aggressive team and we failed to make them play a lot of balls and, as a result, we gave up many easy points."

After Winthrop swept Miami's doubles teams, Struble picked up the lone win for the RedHawks. She defeated senior Tijana Uzelac 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 in singles play. Struble improves to an 18-7 overall record.

"Winthrop was also very aggressive, but they had some girls who were very consistent," Struble said. "We just need to put this behind us, keep our feet moving and stay mentally strong."

Miami has a break in the action next weekend and returns March 23 for a match against South Alabama and March 25 for a match with Old Dominion University.

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