Broncos Head to MAC Tournament, Open With Bulls
The Western Michigan women's tennis team will look to earn their way to the NCAA Tournament when they begin play at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament, hosted this year by Northern Illinois. The third-seeded Broncos will open play their with the chance at revenge when they face the sixth-seeded Buffalo Bulls (7-11, 3-5 MAC) on April 27 at 2 p.m. WMU lost to Buffalo earlier this season, and the Broncos will surely be looking to get back at the Bulls. This will be the 19th meeting between the two teams, with WMU holding a 15-3 advantage.
CLUTCH DOWN THE STRETCH
The Broncos will enter the tournament this weekend on a hot streak, as WMU has won three straight matches and four of its last five matches. All of those matches have been against MAC opposition, including a dominant 6-1 win over Ball State and tight contests against Bowling Green, Toledo, and Eastern Michigan. The Broncos are clearly not intimidated by going on the road, either; they went 4-1 in MAC road matches this year.
With 16 overall wins this season, the Broncos have tied their wins total from the 2009-10 season, and have the opportunity to record their best wins total in four seasons. A win against Buffalo would give the Broncos their highest wins total since winning 21 matches in 2008-09.
NIVIA BOOSTS BRONCOS IN WINS OVER EMU, TOLEDO
Maria Nivia went 3-0 for the Broncos last week as they defeated both the Toledo Rockets and the Eastern Michigan Eagles in their final regular season matches of the year. Nivia was the only Bronco to win both of her singles matches last week, defeating Toledo's Pia Ryngh 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the No. 2 singles match, as well as Eastern Michigan's Ankita Bhatia 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the No. 3 singles match. Nivia also played in doubles against Eastern Michigan, teaming with Kathleen Hawkins to beat Mariya Toncheva and Georgia DeLisle-Tarr 9-8.
TOP THREE TRADITION
With their wins over Toledo and Eastern Michigan last weekend, the Broncos continued a tradition of excellence in the Broncos' program; in the 30 years that Betsy Kuhle has been head coach of the program, the Broncos have never finished lower than third in the MAC standings.
Were the Broncos to defeat the Bulls on Friday afternoon, they will take on the winner of No. 2 Akron and No. 7 Northern Illinois on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Broncos took the doubles point from the Zips in their match earlier this year, playing Akron tight before falling 5-2. The Broncos defeated the Huskies in their match in Kalamazoo, giving head coach Betsy Kuhle her 500th career victory at Western Michigan.