Canes qualify for National Indoors with pair of victories




Ranked opponents, same results.

The 13th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team disposed of 47th-ranked Utah 7-0 and 23rd-ranked Tennessee 5-2 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center over the weekend to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis., starting on Feb. 12.

Eighth-ranked sophomore Julia Cohen, junior Laura Vallverdu and 50th-ranked sophomore Michaela Kissell each earned a pair of victories in singles play and improved to 5-0 on the 2009 season.

“We’ve got probably one of the best 1-2-3-4’s in the country,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It’s a tough and deep lineup. If we’re looking to go pretty far this season and end up potentially top-five in the country, this is what we’re going to have to do.”

Kissell, who played in the third position, lost just one game in two matches and has won in two sets in every competition this year.

“Michaela is playing really aggressive tennis, which is her style. She’s keeping her focus and composure and matured a lot as a player,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Because of that the results are what they are. She’s proven that she’s one of the best players in the country.”

14th-ranked duo Kissell and sophomore Bianca Eichkorn secured the doubles point early on in a come-from-behind win against the Volunteers (3-1).

“You don’t have many days where you feel everything is working. Today was one of those good days for me,” Kissell said. “I was just really focused in and tried to play my best and today it worked out for me.”

In the opening round, the Hurricanes (5-0) cruised past the Utes (1-3) by taking each match in two sets.

“We’re where we want to be,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We need to get a little more consistency at the bottom of the lineup, but the team’s healthy and they’re playing and competing hard.”

The 22nd-ranked men’s tennis team bounced back from a 2-0 deficit to beat 46th-ranked Denver, 5-2, Sunday afternoon in the consolation round of the ITA Kickoff Classic at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

After the Pioneers (2-2) took a 2-0 lead off the doubles point and Martin Zimmerman’s win in the first position, junior Hector Nieto picked up a 6-4, 6-2 straight-sets victory in the sixth position in his 2009 debut.

Sophomores Keith Crowley and 96th-ranked Carl Sundberg both won in two sets, while freshman Ignacio Taboada and junior transfer David Simon rounded off the five-straight singles wins for the Hurricanes.

On Saturday, 24th-ranked Alabama (2-0) defeated the Canes 4-0 by wrapping up the doubles point and three straight-sets singles matches.

Miami (2-2) hosts 60th-ranked Clemson (2-2) in the ACC opener at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.