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Miami tennis swings past Western Michigan to reach the MAC championship

<p>Sarah Dev and Lauren Joyce won the number three doubles match for the RedHawks</p>

Sarah Dev and Lauren Joyce won the number three doubles match for the RedHawks

The Miami University RedHawks tennis team beat the Western Michigan University Broncos 4-2 in the semifinals of the 2024 Mid-American Conference (MAC) tournament. They will play the University of Toledo Rockets April 27 at 1 p.m. for the MAC championship. 

The day started at 3 p.m. with three doubles matches. Juniors Emilia Valentinsson and Sara Zalukar won the number two doubles match 6-3, while junior Sarah Dev and first-year Lauren Joyce won the third seed match 6-4 to earn the doubles point for the RedHawks. 

Winning the doubles point was an emphasis for head coach Ricardo Rosas heading into the tournament. With that, the RedHawks needed three singles wins to beat the Broncos.

Valentinsson won the first singles match 6-3, 6-1 on court four, but Nishitha Saravanan and Zalukar dropped the number two and three singles courts. Joyce brought another match for the RedHawks at court six to tie the singles matches at 2-2. 

On court one, junior Catherine Denysiewicz-Slowek affirmed Miami’s progression in the tournament with a third set victory. Denysiewicz-Slowek won the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set, also 6-4. 

The third set went to 7-5 and ended in a Miami victory. After almost two and a half hours of playing, Denysiewicz-Slowek claimed the first seed victory and pushed the RedHawks to the championship round. 

Earlier in the day, the Rockets defeated the Eastern Michigan University Eagles 4-2. The Rockets lost the doubles point, only winning the number two match, but took four of the singles matches to send the Eagles home. 

Miami lost twice to Toledo this season, once in Oxford and once in Toledo. In both matches, the RedHawks lost the doubles point and found moderate success in singles, but not enough to take the victory.

For the championship, Miami will need to continue its success at doubles to gain an early advantage in the day. Rosas made adjustments to the lineup heading into the tournament, and the team’s dominance today over the Broncos, whom they lost to last week, shows promise.

However, they can’t get complacent with a doubles victory. Toledo lost the doubles point today, but still came out on top. If Miami can stay aggressive into the singles matches, it can bring home a MAC championship victory for the first time since 2019 and the second time under Rosas.


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