April 29, 2011
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Miami opened defense of its 2009 and 2010 Mid-American Conference Tennis Championships Friday morning, easily dispatching No. 8 Ball State 4-0 in the quarterfinal round. The RedHawks swept all three doubles matches before gaining three more points in singles play.
Miami improved to 18-5 overall, winning its 31st straight match against a league opponent. The win total equals last year as the most since a 19-5 finish to the 1988-89 season.
The RedHawks won all three double matches by an 8-2 score to jump out in front. Megan Martzolf dropped their first game, and led 3-2, before winning the final five games. Anastasia Dracheva and Cara Wald bolted to a 4-1 lead and cruised to the win. They were on match point when the RedHawks clinched, allowing their match to be completed.
The teams took a short break before singles, moving from indoors at the Chippewa Club to Ypsilanti High School, but that didn't slow Miami down. Danesis bolted to 4-1 leads in both sets enroute to a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2. Honiball went up 4-1 in the first set, then captured eight of the next nine games for a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the No. 5 flight. Wald sent the RedHawks into the semifinals, dropping just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 6.
In postseason play, the match immediately ends once the outcome is decided. That left the matches at Nos. 1, 3 and 4 unfinished, but all three RedHawks were in control. Dracheva won her first set 6-2 and was up 4-1, while Martzolf won the first five games of her match, to hold a 6-1, 5-2 advantage. Finally, Nimisha Mohan was up 6-4, 4-0 when play was halted.
"We did a good job of being aggressive in doubles," Head Coach Anca Dumitrescu said. "In singles, we stayed composed after the change in venue. That was important for us."
Miami faces fourth-seeded Bowling Green -- a 4-0 winner over Toledo on Friday -- tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at Ypsilanti High School. The RedHawks defeated the Falcons 5-2 indoors at the Perrysburg Tennis Center on April 1.