Women’s tennis opens with clean sweep of FAU

The women’s tennis team opened the dual-match season with a sweep of Florida Atlantic University 7-0, dropping only one set overall.

“Everyone comes away a winner,” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I was happy with Audra [Cohen], and I was really happy with our freshman Monika [Davcevic].”

The only match that stayed close was Ana Rupic against Pia Turol, which went to a third set.Rupic pulled it out 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.

After Rupic jumped out to an easy lead, Turol turned up the intensity and won the second set.Rupic buckled down in the third set, as Turol made key unforced errors towards the end of the match.

Rupic might have been boosted by the support of her teammates, who came to cheer on her and Melissa Applebaum at the end of their matches.

“We have a group of girls that get along exceptionally well this year,” Applebaum said. “We all work hard together for the same goal and that is to get in the NCAA tournament.”

Applebaum had a tough first set, having to rally from 2-3 in the first set to win 7-6 and finishing out the match in the second set 6-3.

“This was a good win for us,” Applebaum said. “It gets a win under our belts. It’s a good starting match for all of the players.”

Singles action also included Cohen winning 6-1, 6-1 and Caren Seenauth putting up a double bagel on Sanda Moreno-Perregaard 6-0, 6-0.

“This team is probably the most talented I have seen in Miami history,” Applebaum said. “But it has a long way to go to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”

Doubles action featured Cohen and Seenauth winning 8-2 and Rupic and Davcevic winning 8-0.

“Everyone knows what they have to do on the court,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It’s a matter of getting them to do it in a pressure situation.”

The road ahead gets harder for Miami, who will head to Madison, Wis., to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. This four-day tournament includes the top 15 teams as well as the host school, the University of Wisconsin.

“By playing the best, it helps you achieve to be the best,” Applebaum said. “It’s a tough schedule, but it’s a great schedule to have.”

The next time Miami is home will be Feb. 10 against Florida International before the team faces second-ranked Florida on Feb. 12. The dual-match schedule this year brings in three top-five teams and 10 that are ranked in the top 50.

“It’s going to be incredible competition,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “It’s going to make them stronger and its going to make them better at the end of the year.”

Denis Brown can be contacted at dbrown@umsis.miami.edu.