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Miami breaks .500 for first time in four weeks

By Scott Sutton, For The Miami Student

The Miami University tennis team went undefeated on the weekend with a 6-1 win over Bowling Green State University (2-17) and a 6-1 win over Eastern Michigan University (4-15).

It is the first time the team record has surpassed .500 since March 12.

"We feel very confident going in to the [Mid-American Conference] tournament and have had no surprises in any of our matchups," head coach Yana Carollo said. "This is where we want to be."

Miami began Friday's game against Bowling Green with an almost perfect double's victory. Sophomore Nelli Ponomareva and fresh

man Emily Struble started the day with a 6-2 victory over sophomore Emily Witt and junior Antonina Farrar.

Sophomore Hannah Shteyn and Ana Rajkovic beat freshman Polina Radeva and junior Leeah Floyd, 6-1.

Though the pair of freshman Anzhelika Shapovalova and junior Andreea Badileanu lost their match, 6-3, Miami took the overall doubles point.

The 'Hawks won five of six matches in singles play. Sophomore Erin Rodriguez, Rajkovic, Struble, Badileanu and Ponomareva each defeated their opponents to clinch the victory. Shteyn had the only loss - a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to freshman Paula Comella.

Carollo is happy with the way the team is playing and believes there is reason for their five-match winning streak.

"The schedule we have had the past few matches definitely helped even though we struggled with some injuries," Carollo said. "Intensity has been a key component for us, and our players have been playing very well with such high levels of intensity."

In the second match, Eastern Michigan began with a 1-0 lead after winning two of three doubles matches. Freshman Marie Mayerova and sophomore Ani Gogvadze beat MU's pair of Shteyn and Rajkovic, 6-4. Sophomore Andrea Martinovska and senior Klara Supejova beat the Badileanu and Shapovalova duo, 6-2. Ponomareva and Struble's match went unfinished.

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The team had a perfect sweep in single's play. Shteyn, Shapovalova, Ponomareva, Badileanu, Struble and Rajkovic each defeated their opponents.

Rajkovic, who was honored before the match against EMU for her four years as a member of the tennis team, defeated sophomore Renu Sharma, 6-3, 6-2.

"It was great, very emotional," Rajkovic said. "I have seen different coaches and different girls but this is a very special group that we have. It has been a great experience overall. It feels phenomenal to be honored because it tells me how much my team respects me and appreciates me."

Miami goes up against Northern Illinois University (6-12) 2 p.m. Friday in Dekalib, Ill. The RedHawks then travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan (17-5) at 1 p.m. Sunday.