March 29, 2012

Tennis Continues MAC Play at Western Michigan and Bowling Green

AKRON, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference schedule for The University of Akron tennis team continues on the road this weekend as the Zips head to Kalamazoo, Mich., to face off with Western Michigan on Friday and Bowling Green, Ohio one day later for a matchup with Bowling Green. First serve for both events is set for 1 p.m. ET.

Akron (15-2, 1-1 MAC) opened league play at home last weekend, dropping a 4-3 contest to Miami (Ohio) outdoors on Friday and downing Ball State 7-0 indoors on Saturday. Against the RedHawks, the Zips led 3-2 but lost in three sets at both No. 4 and 6 singles to give up match point. Versus the Cardinals, UA tallied a victory at all three doubles flights and claimed straight-set wins at each singles position.

UA defeated WMU (12-7, 1-0 MAC) twice last season, 6-1 at home and 4-0 in the MAC tournament semifinals. The Zips are 3-21 all-time versus the Broncos, who opened their MAC schedule with a 7-0 home win over Northern Illinois last Friday.

Bowling Green (5-5, 1-0 MAC) lost 5-2 to Akron in last year's regular-season matchup and the Zips have won four-straight meetings in the all-time series versus the Falcons. UA holds a 6-25 all-time mark versus BGSU. Bowling Green, which defeated Northern Illinois 7-0 last week, takes on Buffalo Friday afternoon.

The Zips have been strong in doubles play this season, thanks in large part to their No. 1 pair of Zara Harutyunyan and Prang Pantusart which owns a 15-0 record in dual-match play. That has helped UA earn the doubles point in six-straight and 15 of 17 contests this season.

On the singles court, the play of 16-year-old freshman Olga Shkundina has been impressive. Playing mostly at the No. 2 position, she is 15-1 (2-0 MAC) versus dual competition this season. All but two of her wins have come in straight sets. Pantusart has also had a strong showing in singles, holding a 13-2 overall record in dual play and 2-0 versus MAC foes. All but one of her victories has been in straight sets.

Following this weekend's trip, Akron will enjoy a three-game homestand with Buffalo (April 7), Eastern Michigan (April 13) and Toledo (April 14) visiting.