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RedHawks begin four-match homestand

D9415 Tennis MAC Tourney 2015
D9415 Tennis MAC Tourney 2015

By Scott Sutton, For The Miami Student

The Miami University tennis team (6-9) continues Mid-American Conference play this weekend, hosting University of Buffalo (10-5) and University of Akron (13-7). The matches are the first two of a four-match homestand.

The RedHawks are coming off a split weekend against Ball State University (15-2) and University of Toledo (7-9). MU fell 4-3 last Friday to Ball State in a rematch of last season's MAC championship, but defeated Toledo, 6-1, Sunday.

Freshman Emily Struble is leading the team with an overall record of 22-8. Struble is on a two-match winning streak. Nelli Ponomareva is on a four-match winning streak.

"We are just going into the MAC knowing that we have played four very good teams in our last four matches and we have learned to compete at a very high level," Struble said. "We are working on a lot of footwork and consistency drills. We just have to stay positive and fight for every match this weekend."

After winning her doubles match 6-2 and singles match 6-3, 6-3 against Toledo last weekend, sophomore Hannah Shteyn is looking to keep the momentum going against two tough MAC teams.

"We're working on just being prepared for anything and just continuing to improve our consistency as well as ability to attack," Shteyn said. "We're going to go out there and learn from the experiences we've had and find ways to apply what we've learned to hopefully make us successful this weekend."

Buffalo looks to rebound after a 5-2 home loss last Friday to Western Michigan. UB had been 6-2 in its previous eight matches. Sophomore Tanja Stojanovska, last season's MAC Freshman of the Year, leads the Bulls with a 9-4 singles record.

Miami holds a 17-5 all-time advantage in the series.

Akron is coming off a Sunday's 4-3 loss to WMU. Sophomore Ariadna Blinova leads the Zips with a 17-1 record in dual play.

Miami leads the all-time series with Akron at 24-2.

Match play against Buffalo begin at 1 p.m. Friday. Play against Akron begins at 10 a.m. Sunday. Both matches will be held at the Hepburn Varsity tennis courts.

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