Women’s tennis overcomes ugly conditions in victory

The women’s tennis team got back on the winning track on Sunday afternoon as it defeated No. 35 Baylor University by a score of 6-1, improving to 5-1 on the season.

“It was great to see the team bounce back from a loss, especially going from indoor tennis, which has zero conditions, to today [with wind],” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We won ugly on some courts, which was nice to see.”

After the loss earlier in the week to Harvard University, the No. 22 ‘Canes came out early and won all three doubles matches to take the doubles point. Junior Megan Bradley and sophomore Melissa Applebaum beat Stephanie Balzert and Daria Potapova (No. 37 in doubles) 8-3 at first doubles. Seniors Sara Robbins and Sihem Bennacer defeated Carolin Walter and Daniela Covello by a score of 8-5 at second doubles.

The team’s strong play continued in singles competition as Miami won five of the six matches. No. 11 Bradley had the toughest match of the day, as she battled back to win in first singles play 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 against No. 49 Walter. After dropping the first set, Bradley trailed 3-4 before coming back to win the second set. She then dominated her opponent in the third and decisive set.

“Baylor is a very tough team, as they are a little deceptive in that they walk around the court and don’t seem like they have a lot of energy,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “They make you play a lot of balls and they don’t make a lot of errors, which makes them very dangerous.”

Senior Mari Toro played very well in her No. 2 singles match, as she defeated Covello 6-1, 6-2. Applebaum won her match 7-6 (5), 6-1 against Klara Zrustova.

The only match on the day that the Hurricanes didn’t come out on top was when Potapova defeated junior Staci Stevens 7-5, 7-6 (5) in fourth singles. Freshman Audrey Banada had a very impressive day at fifth singles, as she commandingly won her match 6-1, 6-2 against Iva Mihaylova.

“Banada was the MVP of the day for us,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “She played great out there.”

Sophomore Natalie Mikolich added the final win for the Hurricanes with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Izabela Mijic.

Miami received an all-around impressive performance on a very windy day at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

The ‘Canes return to the court on Friday as they travel to Tampa, Florida to take on the South Florida Bulls at 1 p.m. The next home match will be Mar. 9 against William and Mary at 6 p.m.

Douglas Kroll can be contacted at d.kroll@