Women’s tennis trounces Boston College in home match

The ninth-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team improved to 8-2 with a decisive 7-0 sweep over Boston College Monday night at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. The ‘Canes entered the match ranked 10th in the nation according to the past four ITA polls, but with Monday’s win UM has now won six straight matches and swept six opponents this season. When the latest rankings were released on Tuesday, Miami had improved to the ninth spot and senior Megan Bradley became the No. 1 player in the nation.

The Hurricanes won all three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point for a sixth straight match. Miami’s No. 1 duo of Bradley and Audrey Banada, ranked fourth nationally, defeated BC’s Nida Waseem and Gia Nafarrete 8-1. Afterward, the No.2 tandem of Melissa Applebaum and Caren Seenauth beat Szilvia Szegedi and Lindsey Nash 8-1. UM’s Staci Stevens and Patricia Starzyk capped off the doubles sweep with an 8-5 win against Morgan Landes and Caitlin Arnould.

Miami went on to win each of its singles matches, six out of the seven coming in straight sets. Bradley stretched her unbeaten streak to 24 matches with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Szegedi at the No. 1 spot.

Bradley didn’t seem to be overly impressed about her 83-16 record, good for fifth all-time at UM.

“That’s not why we do it,” she said. “It’s just nice to come out and win all your matches and help the team as much as possible.”

In other singles action, Starzyk defeated Nash in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot to improve her record to a still undefeated 10-0 since joining the team in January. Sophomore Emily Mowery topped Amy Molden 6-1, 6-0 in sixth singles. In fifth singles, Banada beat Nafarrete 6-2, 6-2, and then Stevens defeated Landes 6-2, 6-4 in the No.3 match.

The most competitive match took place at the No. 2 position, in which Applebaum overcame a 3-6 loss in the first set with a 6-2 win in the second to force a third set tie-breaker. Applebaum followed up her second set with a 10-5 win in the tiebreaker to end the night.

“This match was important because we have a big one coming up on Friday night [Florida State] and another big one on Wednesday [North Carolina]. Tonight was kind of a warm-up for Friday night, and it’s important to go into early April having all these matches under our belt,” said Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews.

Miami continues its eight-match homestand Friday night against Florida State in its ACC home opener at 6 p.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

Bradley and the ‘Canes know what it’s going to take, though, to come away with the win. “We’re going to have to be on our A-game to bring home these next victories; our ultimate goal is to host regionals in May,” Bradley said. “I don’t think we’re there yet, but we’ll get there.”

Mike Soto can be contacted at m.soto3@umiami.edu.