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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Bulls Remain Winless in MAC

After suffering a shutout loss in its last match, the women's tennis team tried to find a rhythm against its Mid-American Conference opponents over the weekend.

The team still seems to be rhythmically challenged.

The Bulls (4-11, 0-5 MAC) lost 4-3 to Toledo (11-6, 2-1 MAC) on Friday and then against Eastern Michigan (9-8, 2-1 MAC) on Saturday by the same score. The pair of losses extends Buffalo's losing streak to five matches and keeps it winless against MAC competition this season.

Buffalo's inability to capture the doubles point hindered the team's effort in both matches. The Bulls have yet to earn the doubles point against a MAC opponent this season, and they're 2-10 overall when dropping the doubles point.

Head coach Kathy Twist thought the point was easily obtainable for the Bulls over the weekend.

"We did see some improvement [in doubles competition] but it just wasn't enough," Twist said. "[The Bulls] have all the skills and physical ability to compete at a high level with these teams. We just need to execute on the point."

The Bulls were in position to win both contests despite their early struggles. Sophomore Kira Golenko had an opportunity to end Buffalo's losing streak in her match against Toledo's Kelsey Anonsen. Golenko tried to come back after an early deficit, but failed to clinch the meet for the Bulls as Anonsen took the match 6-2, 7-6(4).

In the match against EMU, Buffalo led the Eagles going into the final two matches, but the Bulls couldn't finish their opponents off for a second consecutive day. EMU's Mariya Toncheva swung the momentum to the Eagles' favor with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Golenko. The Eagles' Xu Chang then clinched the match for EMU with a thrilling 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over freshman Marta Stoyanova.

Freshman Miranda Podlas provided one of Buffalo's only highlights by going undefeated on the weekend. Podlas teamed up with senior Diana Popescu to take both of their doubles matches. They beat Toledo's Polina Guimaraes and Kelsey Anonsen, 8-4, and Eastern Michigan's Miriam Westerink and Nino Mebuke, 8-7(5).

Podlas followed up her two victories with commanding performances in singles competition. She defeated Toledo's Silvia Carvajal 6-4, 6-2. Podlas then dominated Eastern Michigan's Georgia de'Lisle-Tarr to earn a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Twist felt that Podlas' intensity was the key factor to her weekend success.

"She had a lot of will to bring the points her way," Twist said. "I like the fact that Miranda went out there with the intention of just winning… I think that's impressive coming from a freshman."

Sophomore Tamara Markovic had some success on the weekend as well. She recovered from losses in doubles play in both matches to earn victories in both of her singles matches. She beat Toledo's Amanda Border, 6-3, 6-2, and Eastern Michigan's Marcela Rivero, 6-3, 6-3.

"[Tamara] is such a hard worker," Twist said. "She wasn't satisfied with her performance in her previous matches, so she came back and worked hard… [her victories] are a credit to her hard work and her perseverance."

Twist believes that work ethic and tenacity are what's going to help her team end its losing streak.

"You have to have the will to put everything into the match to come out as the victor," Twist said. "When it comes time on game day, you have to put everything in."

The Bulls will look for their first conference win when they host Northern Illinois (2-10, 0-2 MAC) on Friday. The meet is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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