Tennis Opens MAC Play on Friday Versus NIU, Readies for Three-Match Weekend Homestand

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– The University of Akron women's tennis team begins the Mid-American Conference portion of its schedule by playing host to Northern Illinois on Friday at 1 p.m. ET at LaTuchie Tennis Center in nearby Stow (driving directions). Also on Friday, the Zips face non-league foe Oakland at 6 p.m., and close out the weekend with a non-conference match against Cleveland State on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Akron, which last competed on March 7 when it topped Youngstown State 4-3, enters the weekend with an 8-6 overall record and a 4-3 mark at home. The two-time defending MAC tournament champion Zips have won seven of their last eight matches.

The Zips' doubles pair of Prang Pantusart and Angelina Jogasuria is ranked 71st nationally and owns a 11-0 record this season.

Northern Illinois, which UA topped 7-0 in DeKalb last April, comes into the match with a 14-2 overall record. Oakland owns a 2-7 mark this season and Cleveland State is 6-7. The Zips defeated Cleveland State by a count of 7-0 last season as well.

With the University on Spring Break next week, Akron makes a non-conference road trip to Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Tuesday and Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, then resumes MAC competition at Ball State on Friday and at Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.

Akron was picked to capture both the 2013 regular-season title and league tournament championship in a preseason poll released by the conference office on March 8.