KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Miami rallied for the doubles point, then won four singles matches to defeat Western Michigan 5-2 Friday in a battle of first-place teams in the Mid-American Conference. With the victory, the RedHawks clinch a spot in the MAC Tournament, which this year features just six teams, and put themselves in position to earn the No. 1 seed with a victory tomorrow.
WMU (11-11, 4-2) stormed out to an 8-1 victory in No. 1 doubles, but couldn't earn the point. Christiana Raymond and Ramona Costea opened a 5-1 lead at No. 3, then held on for an 8-4 win to even the score. In the decisive No. 2 match, Alix Thurman and Nimisha Mohan trailed 4-3, but won the next two games for a 5-4 advantage. The Broncos duo tied the match at 5, then the teams traded games for a 6-6 score.
Singles matches at Nos. 2 and 3 quickly went to Miami, putting the RedHawks (9-12, 5-1) ahead 3-0. Thurman finished off her opponent 6-1, 6-4, just minutes before Raymond posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory. Ana Rajkovic clinched the victory for Miami with a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 5.
After Western Michigan gained its first point with a 7-5, 6-0 victory at No. 4, Mohan added to the lead with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the top flight. The Broncos closed the match by winning at No. 6, 7-5, 6-4.
Miami continues its MAC road swing tomorrow afternoon at Bowling Green. The RedHawks need only a victory over the Falcons to clinch at least a share of the MAC title and the No. 1 seed at the conference tournament later this month.