The Bowling Green State University tennis team, playing a home outdoor dual match for the first time in two years, took care of business with a 6-1 win over the University of Akron Friday afternoon (April 11). The Mid-American Conference match was held at Keefe Courts on the BGSU campus.
With the win, BGSU improves to 9-6 on the season, and the Falcons are now 3-2 in MAC play. The Zips drop to 10-13 and 0-6, respectively.
The Falcons took control early, winning all three doubles matches, and BGSU captured five of the singles contests, winning four of those in straight sets.
Five BGSU players picked up wins at both singles and doubles on Friday. That list included senior co-captains Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland, sophomores Katie Brozovich and Drew Fillis and freshman Harley Hutchison.
The Falcons improve to a perfect 6-0 in home matches this season, including 3-0 in MAC play. Friday's match marked the first of those six contests to be played at Keefe Courts.
In fact, the BGSU-UA match was the first time the Falcons had played a dual match at the facility in just under two years. Only two of the seven current team members, Chiricosta and Reuland, were on the roster the last time the Brown and Orange played a dual match at Keefe (April 13, 2012, vs. Western Michigan). It should be noted that the Falcons have hosted the BGSU Invitational at Keefe Courts in each of the last two Septembers since that WMU match.
On Friday, the Falcons quickly got out to an early lead, a lead BG would never relinquish. Fillis and Reuland made quick work of Olga Shkundina and Ksenia Berestetska at the top doubles flight, with an 8-0 win. Soon after, Hutchison and fellow freshman Hannah Drayton closed out an 8-1 outcome at flight number three, downing Marta Briega and Caroline Harpaintner.
The closest of the three doubles matches came at the second flight, where UA's Karolina Maksimava and Martina Zerbola rallied from a 3-1 deficit against Brozovich and Chiricosta, tying the match at 3-3. The Falcon duo surged ahead by a 6-3 score, saw the Zips close to within a single game, then captured back-to-back games for an 8-5 win.
Singles play saw Hutchison breeze to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Briega at the sixth flight, and Chiricosta blow past Shkundina at the top flight with a 6-2 win in the first set and a 6-1 victory in the second.
Berestetska got a point for the Zips with a win over Drayton at the fourth flight, but that would be UA's lone point of the afternoon. Soon after, Reuland clinched the win for the Falcons with a lopsided victory over Maksiava at the second flight. The BG senior won a 6-0 opening set, then captured three games at the start of the second set en route to a 6-2 win.
Brozovich led early and often in her match as well, downing Zerbola 6-1 in the first set and taking a 4-2 lead in the second. With Brozovich leading by that 4-2 score in the second set, Zerbola retired due to illness, giving the Falcons a fifth point.
The only match left on the court was Fillis vs. Harpaintner at the fifth flight. The BG sophomore rolled to a 6-2 win in the opening set, but the UA freshman erased a 2-1 deficit in the second set to take a 5-3 lead. The Ottawa Hills native proceeded to win three-straight games to retake the lead, but the Essenbach, Germany, product won the next game for the Zips to force a tiebreaker.
It would prove to be the first of back-to-back 'breakers, and Harpaintner took control by winning the first four points. After Fillis won the next two points, Harpaintner closed out a 7-2 victory to capture the second set and force a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match.
That tiebreaker featured multiple twists, turns and shifts in momentum. Fillis captured the first four points this time, and after Harpaintner battled back to within 4-2, Fillis took the next two points, blasting a service ace to take a 6-2 lead.
Undaunted, however, Harpaintner strung together four-straight points to tie the 'breaker at 6-6. Fillis, who never fell behind in the 10-point tiebreaker, won the next point, before her opponent knotted the score once again, at 7-all. But, Fillis captured the next three points, with the third coming after Harpainter's attempted return of another FilliSmash* sailed long.
* NOTE: the phrase 'FilliSmash' is courtesy BGSU assistant athletic trainer Dan Fischer, with all trademarks and patents pending
BGSU closes the home schedule on Saturday (April 12), hosting the University at Buffalo on 'Senior Day' at Keefe Courts, weather and wind permitting. First serve is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., with Chiricosta and Reuland recognized in ceremonies scheduled to take place prior to the match.
BGSU 6, Akron 1
Fri., April 11, 2014 – Keefe Courts – Bowling Green, Ohio
1 – Nikki Chiricosta (BGSU) def. Olga Shkundina 6-2, 6-1
2 – Emily Reuland (BGSU) def. Karolina Maksimava 6-0, 6-2
3 – Katie Brozovich (BGSU) def. Martina Zerbola 6-1, 4-2 retired
4 – Ksenia Berestetska (UA) def. Hannah Drayton 6-2, 6-2
5 – Drew Fillis (BGSU) def. Caroline Harpaintner 6-2, 6-7(2), 1-0(10-7)
6 – Harley Hutchison (BGSU) def. Marta Briega 6-2, 6-0
1 – Fillis/Reuland (BGSU) def. Berestetska/Shkundina 8-0
2 – Brozovich/Chiricosta (BGSU) def. Maksimava/Zerbola 8-5
3 – Drayton/Hutchison (BGSU) def. Briega/Harpaintner 8-1
BGSU 9-6, 3-2 MAC
UA 10-13, 0-6 MAC
ORDER OF FINISH
LENGTH OF MATCH
UP NEXT FOR BGSU
Saturday, April 12, vs. Buffalo – 1:00 p.m. – Keefe Courts – Senior Day
FRIDAY'S MAC RESULTS
at BGSU 6, Akron 1
Miami 4, at Eastern Michigan 3
at Toledo 4, Ball State 3
Buffalo 5, at Western Michigan 2
at Northern Illinois 6, Cardinal Stritch 0
SATURDAY'S MAC SCHEDULE
Buffalo at BGSU, 1:00 p.m.
Akron at Western Michigan, 1:00 p.m.
Ball State at Eastern Michigan, 1:00 p.m.
Miami at Toledo, 1:00 p.m.
UPDATED MAC STANDINGS
(overall record in parentheses)
1. Eastern Michigan (12-7)... 5-1
2. Miami (12-6).............. 4-1
3. Buffalo (13-4)............ 4-2
Toledo (13-5)............. 4-2
5. Bowling Green (9-6)....... 3-2
Ball State (13-8)......... 3-2
7. Western Michigan (12-9)... 1-4
8. Northern Illinois (7-10).. 1-5
9. Akron (10-13)............. 0-6