MUNCIE – The Bowling Green State University tennis team's bid for a Mid-American Conference championship fell just short, as Miami University posted a 4-3 win over the Falcons Sunday afternoon (April 28). The match, the final contest in the 2013 MAC Championships, was held at Northside YMCA in Muncie, Ind.
With the win, the RedHawks improve to 13-12 on the year. MU, the top seed for the MAC Championships, earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The Falcons, the second seed for the league tournament, see the season come to an end with a dual-match record of 17-5.
BGSU's win total set a school record, and both the Falcons' regular-season and league tournament finishes were the best in program history.
Senior Mary Hill and freshman Katie Brozovich were named to the MAC All-Tournament Team.
For the 20th time in 22 matches this season, and the ninth time in 10 contests vs. MAC opponents, the Falcons won the doubles point. BGSU's four seniors -- Hill, Maddy Eccleston, Katie Grubb and Jade Johnson -- combined for wins at the bottom two doubles flights to give the Falcons the initial point of the afternoon.
In singles play, the Brown and Orange got wins from Brozovich and Hill in straight sets, but the RedHawks captured the other four flights for the victory. Miami's Nimisha Mohan, who picked up the clinching win in MU's 4-3 regular-season win over the Falcons, again won the final match of the day, getting past junior Nikki Chiricosta in a first-set tiebreaker before capturing the second set to finish the match.
At the start of the match, Eccleston and Grubb burst out to a quick 6-0 lead over Mohan and Alix Thurman at the second flight. The RedHawk duo won the next two games and got as close as 7-3, but it was much too little, too late as the BG seniors captured the victory.
Christiana Raymond and Ramona Costea evened the match with a victory at the top doubles flight, but BG's other two seniors clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win in third-flight action. Hill and Johnson trailed early, but reeled off five-straight games to take a 6-2 lead en route to the victory.
The BGSU seniors combined to go 17-3 in doubles play in MAC regular-season and tournament action. The Hill/Johnson duo was 9-1 in that time, while Eccleston and Grubb were 8-2 vs. MAC foes during that season-ending stretch.
In singles action, Thurman evened the overall match score with a victory over junior Emily Reuland at the second flight, but Hill capped a 4-0 weekend with a win against Costea at the sixth level. The senior, who won at both singles and doubles against Akron in Saturday's semifinal round, took an early 2-0 lead in the first set vs. Costea on Sunday. Costea got within a game at 3-2 and 4-3, but Hill captured two-straight games to take the first set, then stormed to a 6-0 victory in the second set.
Rajkovic, however, picked up a win over Grubb at the fifth flight, taking two sets by identical 6-3 scores. The loss was Grubb's only setback of the weekend, as the senior went a combined 3-1 in Muncie.
Raymond gave the RedHawks a 3-2 lead with a win over Eccleston at the third flight. The second set was a back-and-forth affair before a late surge by Raymond resulted in a 6-3 win.
Needing to win each of the two remaining matches, the Falcons got a victory from Brozovich at the fourth flight. The freshman rallied from an early 2-0 deficit for a 6-4 win over Guerrazzi in the first set. She captured four games to take a 4-2 advantage, and never let her opponent even the score thereafter.
In the second set, Brozovich never trailed, as each player held serve until the very end. Tied, 4-4, Brozovich won the last two games to capture the win and draw the Falcons even at 3-3.
That left only Mohan and Chiricosta on the court. The juniors battled through an epic first set, with Chiricosta taking a 3-1 lead, but Mohan battling back for a 6-5 advantage. Chiricosta won the next game to force a tiebreaker,
In the 'breaker, the BG junior took an early 3-0 lead, but Mohan battled back to tie it at 3-3. With the two deadlocked at 4-all, Mohan won the next three points to take the first set, then went on to capture the second set and clinch the match.
Sunday's action completed the stellar careers of the Falcons' four seniors, who combined for 222 singles wins and 312 doubles victories.