Women’s tennis enjoys successful weekend

With the fall tournament season winding down, the women’s tennis team looked to continue its strong play in singles action and get more team continuity together in doubles play as it took on FIU, Vanderbilt and Iowa this past weekend.

“I think that we fought hard,” junior Audrey Banada said. “Everyone seems like they are finding their niche.”

The Hurricanes got off on a good note by defeating Iowa in five of six singles matches. Junior Emily Mowery got a singles victory over Merel Beelen 6-2, 6-0.

The ‘Canes picked up right where they left off on Saturday by defeating Iowa in two of three doubles matches. The teams of Melissa Applebaum and Banada as well as Monika Dancevic and Ana Rupic won 8-6 and 8-4, respectively. Miami also won three of five singles matches against Vanderbilt later that day.

Finally on Sunday, Miami picked up a win in four of five singles matches, while only winning one of three doubles matches to FIU. Applebaum, Patricia Starzyk, Caren Seenauth and Mowery all came away singles winners while Banada got a new doubles partner, Starzyk and came away with another win in doubles.

“FIU is always a good team and a cross town rival,” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Vandy ended the year last year ranked eighth in the country. We had to earn everything we got this weekend.”

Miami has battled well this fall considering one of its new stars, Audra Cohen, is hurt. Cohen, a transfer student from Northwestern, is currently recouping from a back injury that occurred from normal wear and tear from playing tennis. Yaroshuk-Tews has had to tweak the lineups and ask other players to step up to take the place of Cohen.

“We have a few injuries right now,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Some of the girls are on the rebound right now, and we have to adapt and get used to playing with different partners.”

This might bother some players, but at least one girl is happy to have the chance to play with different partners throughout the fall season.

“Last year we didn’t have too many options on doubles,” Banada said. “But now we have so many options we almost don’t know what to do with them all.”

Depth seems to be a big advantage for this team. While the fall season is about individual success as opposed to team success, Miami had the advantage this weekend in all three singles competitions and struggled only a bit in doubles. Once the team becomes fully healthy, it believes that the experience that the other girls got while stepping in for the injured will help them in the long run.

On the whole, Yaroshuk-Tews was happy with her team this weekend.

“I think we saw a lot of good things,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We’ve been focusing on working hard and keeping our discipline in matches.”

Denis Brown can be contacted at dbrown@umsis.miami.edu.