April 30, 2011
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Top-seeded Miami advanced to its third straight Mid-American Conference championship match with a 4-0 win over upset-minded Bowling Green Saturday morning at Ypsilanti High School. The RedHawks will face No. 2-seed Akron in Sunday's final.
Miami improved to 19-5 overall with its 32 straight victory over a league foe. The win total is the most by a RedHawk squad since the 1988-89 campaign.
The fourth-seeded Falcons (15-7) opened doubles play with an 8-2 win over Megan Martzolf evened the score at No. 1. They trailed early by 2-1 score, but evened the match at 3-3, then broke serve to take control. The teams stayed on serve with Danesis holding for an 8-6 score, leaving the point to the players at No. 3.
Anastasia Dracheva fell down a break early and trailed 5-3 before the teams held serve for each of the next five games, giving Bowling Green 7-6 advantage. The RedHawks broke to even the match at 7-7, but the Falcons answered right back on Wald's serve for an 8-7 edge. But Miami would not be denied. The RedHawks broke for a second time, then won the tiebreaker 10-8 to clinch the point.
Dracheva turned right around and earned an easy 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 to make the score 2-0, then Nimisha Mohan added a point with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4.
Bowling Green captured three first sets easily to put a scare into the two-time defending champions, while Martzolf was up 5-2 in her first set before winning a tiebreaker 7-5. The senior stepped up in the second set, winning 6-2 to end the upset attempt, while the other three RedHawks extended their matches.
Danesis was up 3-6, 6-4, 4-2 at No. 2, but Honiball (2-6, 6-3, 1-3) and Wald (1-6, 7-5, 1-4) were both trailing when play was abandoned.
"The match was much closer than the score indicated," Head Coach Anca Dumitrescu said. "I have to give credit to BG for their energy. We did a good job of staying competitive and we were aggressive in the big points. I was happy we rebounded in the singles matches after getting down."
Miami goes for its third straight league tournament championship and NCAA berth tomorrow afternoon against the Zips, a 4-0 winner over Western Michigan Saturday. The RedHawks defeated Akron 4-3 in a slugfest at the Riverside Racquet Club two weeks ago.