BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University tennis team, looking to extend a seven-match winning streak, will play a pair of duals at the Perrysburg Tennis Center this weekend. The Falcons of head coach Penny Dean will face IPFW in Friday (Feb. 22) action and California (Pa.) on Sunday morning (Feb. 24) as a season-long seven-match homestand rolls on.
Friday's IPFW match will begin at 12:00 p.m., with Sunday's Cal U dual set for a 9:30 a.m. start. Both matches will be held at the Perrysburg Tennis Center, and admission is free.
BGSU enters the weekend with a 7-1 record in dual-match play. The Falcons' last match was a narrow 4-3 win over Cincinnati on Feb. 10. BG won all three doubles matches against the Bearcats, sweeping the doubles contests for the fifth time in a seven-match span.
The Falcons and UC split the singles matches, marking the first time in BG's seven-match winning streak that the Brown and Orange did not win at least five of the six singles flights.
BGSU competitors have a combined record of 35-7 in singles and 19-2 in doubles during the team's seven-match winning streak.
Several Falcons bring impressive personal winning streaks into the weekend. Junior Nikki Chiricosta has captured 13 consecutive matches (singles and doubles combined), while freshman Katie Brozovich has won her last 11 matches. Senior Katie Grubb had had a 13-match personal winning streak before suffering a loss in singles play against UC. Prior to that setback, she had not lost since the Falcons' Jan. 18 match at Notre Dame.
On the season, all eight Falcons have at least 18 total wins, including at least 11 doubles victories apiece. Every player on the team is at least four games over .500, with seven of the eight players at least eight games above the break-even mark.
Chiricosta leads the Falcons in all three wins categories this season to date. Her 37-11 overall mark includes a 17-5 singles ledger and a 20-6 doubles slate. Fellow junior Emily Reuland is close behind with a 35-13 record, having gone 16-6 in singles play and 19-7 in doubles action.
The Chiricosta/Reuland duo has played at the top flight in six of the eight dual matches this season to date, and the two juniors have played at the top-two singles flights as well.
Grubb has a 29-10 overall record this year, while Brozovich is 28-15 in her first season as a collegian. Brozovich is 16-8 in singles, while Grubb has a stellar doubles record of 16-4.
Seniors Maddy Eccleston and Jade Johnson are 17-7 and 16-5, respectively, in doubles this season. Eccleston has 25 overall victories and Johnson 22 this year. Senior Mary Hill has 19 total wins, while freshman Drew Fillis has an 18-10 overall mark.
Eccleston, a team co-captain along with Hill, continues to climb several BGSU career lists. She has a career total of 86 doubles wins, ranking second in school history. Eccleston is just three doubles wins away from matching Christine Chiricosta's school record. Chiricosta had 89 doubles wins from 2008-11.
Eccleston now has 152 combined career victories, good for sole possession of third place on that chart. She is just one win behind second-place Deidee Bissinger (153 wins from 1997-2000) on that list. Christine Chiricosta holds the BGSU record with 178 total wins as a Falcon.
All four BGSU seniors and both Falcon juniors are on the list of the top-30 players in school history in combined career wins. All six players are within the top 20 on the school's doubles wins list, while five of the six are among the top-25 all-time Falcons in singles wins. All three lists can be found by clicking the PDF stats link near the top of this page.
IPFW enters Friday's match with a dual-match record of 6-4 on the season. The Mastodons were busy last weekend, playing four home matches in a three-day span. IPFW defeated both Robert Morris and Chicago State by 7-0 scores on Friday (Feb. 15), and the 'Dons suffered a narrow 4-3 loss to Youngstown State Sunday morning (Feb. 17) before bouncing back with a 7-0 win over Trine later in the day.
IPFW has faced three MAC opponents already this spring, losing to Toledo by a 4-3 count and to both Eastern Michigan and Ball State by 5-2 scores. The 'Dons came to Northwest Ohio to participate in the BGSU Invitational earlier this season (Sept. 21-22, 2012). IPFW finished last season with a record of 18-11. After winning the Summit League championship in each of the previous two seasons, the Mastodons lost a 4-3 decision to Oral Roberts in last year's league title match.
California is 2-2 on the year, and the Vulcans are riding a two-match winning streak. Cal U, an NCAA Division-II program, hosts Villanova on Friday (Feb. 22) before coming to Perrysburg for Sunday's match. The Vulcans, who are playing seven-straight matches vs. NCAA Division-I opponents to begin the spring, suffered 6-1 losses to MAC opponents (Miami and Toledo) to begin the dual-match schedule. Last weekend, the Vulcans defeated Carnegie Mellon, 6-3, before blanking Denison by a 9-0 result.
The Vulcans were ranked No. 8 in the ITA's NCAA Division-II fall rankings. Cal U also finished last season ranked eighth by the ITA after winning a sixth-straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title. The Vulcans also posted their sixth consecutive 20-win season, going 24-6, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in those six years.
BGSU holds a 2-0 lead over IPFW in the all-time series between the teams. The Falcons picked up a 6-1 win over the Mastodons at the PTC three years ago (Jan. 30, 2010), and BG went to Fort Wayne the following season and won by a 5-2 result (Feb. 12, 2011).
The Falcons and California (Pa.) have never met in women's tennis.
Following this weekend's matches, the Falcons will next take the court on March 16, hosting Butler at the PTC to conclude the current seven-match homestand. The next day (March 17), the Brown and Orange will be in the Windy City to face UIC in the final non-conference dual match. MAC play begins the next weekend with home matches vs. Toledo (March 22) and Eastern Michigan (March 23).