Broncos Close Home Slate With Rout of Zips
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan women's tennis team picked up their first win against Akron since the 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament in a match that started outdoors but finished indoors, as the Broncos defeated the Zips 6-1 in Kalamazoo on Saturday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 13-9 overall, 2-4 in MAC competition.
The match against the Zips started on Sorensen Courts on WMU's campus, but a rogue patch of clouds dumped rain on the Broncos shortly after the beginning of singles play and moved play to West Hills Athletic Club. The poor weather did not halt the Broncos' momentum after the doubles session. WMU took five of the six singles matches after taking the first two doubles matches off the court, giving them the distinct edge in the match over the Zips.
The pairing of Tracy Kuhle and Nini Sujashvili were the first to strike in doubles play, blowing past the pairing of Caroline Harpaintner and Marta Briega by an 8-1 score in the No. 3 doubles match. The duo of Meika Ashby and Yuriko Ono followed shortly thereafter, similarly controlling their No. 2 doubles match against Martina Zerbola and Karolina Maksimava to win 8-3 and clinch the doubles point.
Sujashvili and Kuhle were the first two singles players off the court as well, with each respective member of the pair winning their singles matches to give WMU a 3-0 match lead. Sujashvili won her fifth straight match at the No. 1 singles position with a sharp performance against Olga Shkundina, beating her 6-3, 6-4 to put the Broncos ahead 2-0. Kuhle flew past Harpaintner in the No. 5 singles match to the tune of a 6-1, 6-2 win, and Ashby clinched the team win for the Broncos with a straight-sets win over Zerbola at No. 3. Kathleen Hawkins, who along with Sujashvili was playing in the final home match of her career, came back from a set down against Maksimava at No. 2 singles to win in a third-set super-tiebreaker, and Yuriko Ono wrapped the effort with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Briega at the No. 6 spot.
Western Michigan 6, Akron 1
1. Nini Sujashvili (WMU) def. Olga Shkundina (UA) 6-3, 6-4
2. Kathleen Hawkins (WMU) def. Karolina Maksimava (UA) 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-4)
3. Meika Ashby (WMU) def. Martina Zerbola (UA) 6-0, 6-2
4. Ksenia Berestetska (UA) def. Caroline Aleck (WMU) 7-5, 6-1
5. Tracy Kuhle (WMU) def. Caroline Harpaintner (UA) 6-1, 6-2
6. Yuriko Ono (WMU) def. Marta Briega (UA) 7-5, 6-1
1. Kathleen Hawkins/Caroline Aleck (WMU) vs. Olga Shkundina/Ksenia Berestetska (UA) 6-5, unfinished
2. Meika Ashby/Yuriko Ono (WMU) def. Martina Zerbola/Karolina Maksimava (UA) 8-3
3. Tracy Kuhle/Nini Sujashvili (WMU) def. Caroline Harpaintner/Marta Briega (UA) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,5,3,2,6,4)