Bulls snap streak
Women’s tennis splits weekend matches, ends losing streak
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Updated: Sunday, April 7, 2013 14:04
Just a week ago, the women’s tennis team was one of two undefeated squads in the country. Entering Saturday, an undefeated season had spun into to a three-game losing streak and the team looked to regain its early-season form.
The Bulls (11-3, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) hosted Western Michigan (11-10, 4-1 MAC) on Friday and Bowling Green (14-3, 3-2 MAC) on Saturday. The team split the matches, losing 4-3 to Western Michigan and defeating Bowling Green 5-2.
After losing to the Broncos on Friday, the Bulls lost just two points to Bowling Green on Saturday.
The Falcons swept the doubles matches with relative ease as they put up 8-5, 8-3 and 8-3 victories over the Bulls.
Buffalo responded with strong singles matches, starting with freshman Gopika Kapoor, who wasted no time in her fifth singles match, winning the first two sets 6-1 and 6-0.
Junior Anamaria Candanoza and senior Tamara Markovic also won their matches handily as they earned the second and third singles points for the Bulls.
Junior Tanvi Shah, who was forced to retire on Friday because of a previously sustained injury, took the court on Saturday and played through the injury. She overcame a first-set loss and won the final two sets to clinch the match for the Bulls.
“I was really pushing through the pain,” Shah said. “I saw how close the match was and knew the team needed me, so I decided to give it everything I had to play through the pain.”
Junior Miranda Podlas was the last player on the court as her match lasted over three hours. She won the first set 11-9 in a tiebreaker but dropped the second set 4-6, forcing a decisive third set. Podlas came out strong and took the third set 6-4 to close out one of the Bulls’ biggest wins of the season.
“I think it was a great team victory,” Podlas said. “We all came out with confidence and we really wanted to win today.”
Friday was a different story.
In a contest that lasted nearly four hours, the Bulls and Broncos split the singles matches with three wins apiece, but the Broncos came away with the doubles point and the 4-3 victory.
The Bulls took first doubles, as Podlas and Kapoor won the match 8-5, earning their second-straight victory since they first teamed up against Ball State last weekend. The Broncos won the second and third doubles matches and scored the match’s first team point.
“The doubles point is critical in any match and today was a perfect example of that,” said head coach Kristen Ortman. “At this level, you’re not going to be given multiple opportunities, so you need to take that first one.”
Western Michigan came out on top in the first and second singles matches, including the match from which Shah was forced to retire.
Buffalo kept the match close as it came away with wins in the fourth, fifth and sixth singles matches. Kapoor was the first Bull to gain a team point, as she was victorious in a lopsided match.
Sophomore Laura Fernandez and Candanoza also came away with victories, bringing the match score to 3-3.
The match’s fate came down to the third singles match, with a pair of seniors who battled it out. Markovic took the first set 7-5 but dropped the final two sets to give Western Michigan the 4-3 win.
The Bulls look to create a new winning streak when they take on Akron in their last home match of the season on Saturday. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m.