PERRYSBURG – The Bowling Green State University tennis team began a lengthy homestand on a successful note, posting a 6-1 win over Youngstown State University Saturday afternoon (Feb. 2) in non-conference action at the Perrysburg Tennis Club.
With the win, the Falcons are now 4-1 in dual-match play on the young season. BGSU has won four consecutive matches after a loss to No. 19 Notre Dame last weekend. The Penguins dropped to 0-2 on the year.
For the third consecutive outing, BGSU swept all three doubles matches. Seniors Mary Hill and Jade Johnson lost just one game in a third-flight win, and juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland did not lose a single game in their victory at the second flight.
The first flight was much more closely contested, but BG came out on top. Seniors Maddy Eccleston and Katie Grubb battled to a tiebreaker with YSU's Paula de Man and Marta Burak, and the Penguin duo took a 3-0 lead in the 'breaker. But, Eccleston and Grubb responded by winning seven of the next eight points for a 7-4 victory.
Saturday's match marked the first time that Grubb played at the number-one doubles flight in her BGSU career.
The Falcons rode the momentum of that doubles success into singles play, winning five matches in the minimum number of sets.
Grubb breezed through her fifth-flight match with Carolyn Jesko, reeling off 12 consecutive wins for the 6-0, 6-0 sweep. Grubb has now won seven-straight singles matches. In sixth-flight action, freshman Katie Brozovich did not lose a game, albeit in an abbreviated match. Brozovich captured three games in the first set before her opponent, Gimena Puppo, was forced to retire.
Chiricosta lost only four games in a second-flight win over Burak, while Eccleston lost just five in a victory against Lauren Hankle at the third flight. Hill was extended to a first-set tiebreaker by Annina Brendel in their fourth-flight match, but the BG co-captain captured that 'breaker, then went on to a 6-4 win in the second set to capture the match.
YSU's lone win came at the top flight, where de Man defeated Reuland.
Chiricosta and Eccleston each picked up their 65th career singles win on Saturday afternoon. That duo is tied for 15th in BGSU history on that list.
Three other current Falcons are ranked on the career singles victory chart, as Reuland is 20th on that list (61 wins), Hill 23rd (51) and Grubb 25th (49).
On the doubles chart, Eccleston, who currently ranks third in school history, won her 83rd career match. She is just one doubles win shy of second-place Jenny Cheung (1995-98), and is only six away from matching BGSU career leader Christine Chiricosta (2008-11), who had 89 doubles wins as a Falcon.
Grubb's doubles win was the 60th of her career, tying her for 16th on that list. Nikki Chiricosta is several spots ahead of Grubb, sitting 14th with 64 career doubles wins. Hill (T-18th, 59 doubles wins), Johnson (T-21st, 58) and Reuland (23rd, 57) all sit among the top 25 Falcons of all time in doubles wins.
On the combined career wins list, all six BGSU veterans are ranked among the top 30. Eccleston is sixth in school history with 148 wins, and is just one victory away from moving into a third-place tie. A trio of BG teammates -- Abby Bratton, Meghan Rhodes and Erika Wasilewski (all of who played from 1998-2001) had 149 wins apiece in their respective BGSU careers.
Chiricosta now has 129 total wins at BG to place 14th, while Reuland is 21st with 118 victories. Hill and Grubb are 23rd and 24th, respectively, as Hill has 110 wins and Grubb 109. Johnson now has 89 career victories, ranking 30th on that list.
On the season, Chiricosta has a team-best 31-11 record, while Reuland is 29-13. Four other Falcons have at least 20 total victories, while every member of the team has 14 or more wins and is at least four games over the .500 mark.