KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Akron women's tennis team remained undefeated in Mid-American Conference play with its 21st consecutive victory. The Zips beat Western Michigan 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the West Hills Athletic Club.
The Zips improved to 22-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in MAC play, while the Broncos fell to 9-10 overall and 3-3 in the MAC.
"Today was a total team effort," said head coach Brandon Padgett. "We came together more as a team than we have all season, and it showed in the overall result. We would have liked to have closed out the other two singles courts, but the fight Luisa and Rita showed was outstanding, and if given the chance to compete against them again, I feel they will come through in those spots for us."
In doubles action, junior Ariadna Blinova (Riga, Latvia) and junior Sophia Geier (Burgebrach, Germany) defeated Barbare Eristavi and Gabriela Slavova, 6-0. At No. 3 doubles, senior Shannon Newnes (Romford, London) and freshman Rita Pedroso (Porto, Portugal) claimed the doubles point with a 6-3 decision over Denise Azcui and Katja Fevralev.
"Doubles was outstanding for us today, and that set the tone from the very beginning," Padgett said.
At the No. 1 singles spot, Geier (27-3 overall, 5-1 MAC) picked up her fifth MAC win with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Melina Lyubomirova.
At. No. 2 singles, Blinova (23-10 overall, 4-2 MAC) defeated Katja Fevralev, 6-1, 7-5.
At the No. 5 singles spot, Newnes remained unbeaten in singles action (12-0) this spring with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Denise Azcui.
Junior Carli Knezevich (Austin, Texas) defeated Gabriela Slavova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 6 spot.
With two regular-season matches remaining, Akron closes out the home portion of its schedule with Bowling Green (5-11 overall, 1-3 MAC) on Sunday, April 16, in a 1 p.m. match at the UA Outdoor Tennis Facility (weather permitting) on campus. Seniors Karolina Maksimova and Shannon Newnes will be honored prior to the match.
"We now turn our focus toward Bowling Green, and look forward to a solid week of practice in preparation for that match," Padgett said.
AKRON 5, WESTERN MICHIGAN 2
West Hills Athletic Club
April 9, 2017
1. Carli Knezevich/Karolina Maksimova (UA) vs. Tracy Kuhle/Melina Lyubomirova (WMU) -- no result
2. Ariadna Blinova/Sophia Geier (UA) def. Barbare Eristavi/Gabriela Slavova, 6-0
3. Shannon Newnes/Rita Pedroso (UA) def. Denise Azcui/Katja Fevralev, 6-3
1. Sophia Geier (UA) def. Melina Lyubomirova, 6-4, 6-2
2. Ariadna Blinova (UA) def. Katja Fevralev, 6-1, 7-5
3. Tracy Kuhle (WMU) def. Rita Pedroso, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
4. Barbare Eristavi (WMU) def. Luisa Echeverry, 6-4, 0-6, 6-1
5. Shannon Newnes (UA) def. Denise Azcui, 7-5, 6-3
6. Carli Knezevich (UA) def. Gabriela Slavova, 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish:
Doubles– 2, 3
Singles– 6, 1, 2, 5, 4, 3
Akron (22-2, 6-0 MAC)
Western Michigan (9-10, 3-3 MAC)