For the 16th consecutive match, the Bowling Green State University tennis team won the doubles point. But, for only the second time in that 16-match span, the opponent rallied to win the match. On Saturday afternoon (April 6), the University at Buffalo captured five of the six singles contests for a 5-2 win over the Falcons in Mid-American Conference dual-match play in Western New York.
With the win, the Bulls improve to 11-3 overall and 2-3 in the MAC. The Falcons drop to 14-3 and 3-2, respectively. BGSU is in a three-way tie for third place in the league standings, along with Akron and Ball State. Miami and Western Michigan sit atop the conference with 4-1 MAC marks through Saturday's play.
In a match that lasted nearly four-and-a-half hours, the Falcons got off to the early lead. Head coach Penny Dean's four seniors combined for wins at the bottom two doubles flights for the fifth time in as many MAC matches. And, at the top flight, the Falcons' two juniors made it a clean sweep of the three doubles matches.
Senior co-captain Maddy Eccleston, the BGSU career leader in doubles wins, combined with classmate Katie Grubb for an 8-3 victory over UB's Laura Fernandez and Marta Stoyanova. The Eccleston/Grubb duo has combined to go 27-8 in their respective BGSU career, including a 20-5 mark this season, a 13-2 record since the start of dual-match play in mid-January, and a perfect 5-0 ledger in MAC matches this season.
At the third flight, BGSU's other two seniors also improved to 5-0 in MAC matches, as Jade Johnson and co-captain Mary Hill also posted an 8-3 win. That BG duo is now 12-3 on the year, with all but one of those matches coming in dual-match play, after Saturday's win over Anamaria Candanoza and Tamara Markovic.
The number-one flight saw juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland team up for an 8-5 win over Miranda Podlas and Gopika Kapoor. The Chiricosta/Reuland tandem snapped a four-match losing streak, and that team is now 21-10 this season and 37-19 in their respective Falcon careers.
But, in singles play, the Bulls responded by winning the first three matches to take a 3-1 lead. Kapoor topped Grubb at the fifth flight, and Candanoza defeated Hill in sixth-flight action before Markovic downed Eccleston at the third flight.
The match remained 3-1 for the next hour, as each of the other three singles matches required three sets. Freshman Katie Brozovich got the Falcons back within a point with a victory over Fernandez at the fourth set. After dropping the opening set, the first-year Falcon battled back for a 6-4 win in the second set before cruising to a 6-2 victory in the third.
Brozovich is a perfect 5-0 in MAC singles matches in this, her first collegiate season. She has won 16 consecutive singles matches since her last loss back on Jan. 18. Overall, Brozovich has won 23 matches in a row (including both singles and doubles) since that setback.
But, the Bulls clinched the victory when Tanvi Shah outlasted Reuland, 6-4, in the third set at the number-one flight. That match lasted just under three hours. And, in second-flight action, Podlas defeated Chiricosta in a marathon first-set tiebreaker before the BG junior rally for a 6-4 second-set win. But, in a match that took three hours and 25 minutes to complete, Podlas outlasted Chiricosta by the identical 6-4 score in the third set.
The Falcons now return home for the next two matches, beginning with a Friday (April 12) contest vs. Ball State. Then, BGSU faces Miami on Saturday (April13). Both matches are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Keefe Courts, weather permitting.
BUFFALO 5, BGSU 2
Sat., April 6, 2013 – Miller Tennis Center – Buffalo, N.Y.
1 – Tanvi Shah (UB) def. Emily Reuland 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2 – Miranda Podlas (UB) def. Nikki Chiricosta 7-6(11-9), 4-6, 6-4
3 – Tamara Markovic (UB) def. Maddy Eccleston 6-4, 6-1
4 – Katie Brozovich (BGSU) def. Laura Fernandez 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
5 – Gopika Kapoor (UB) def. Katie Grubb 6-1, 6-0
6 – Anamaria Candanoza (UB) def. Mary Hill 6-3, 6-1
# – Marta Stoyanova (UB) def. Drew Fillis 5-7, 6-3, 1-0(10-5)
# Exhibition; not included in match scoring
1 – Chiricosta/Reuland (BGSU) def. Podlas/Kapoor 8-5
2 – Eccleston/Grubb (BGSU) def. Fernandez/Stoyanova 8-3
3 – Hill/Jade Johnson (BGSU) def. Candanoza/Markovic 8-3
BGSU 14-3, 3-2 MAC
Buffalo 11-3, 2-3 MAC
ORDER OF FINISH
UP NEXT FOR BGSU
Friday., April 12, vs. Ball State
1:00 p.m. - Keefe Courts