Women perfect on weekend, men split matches


Cluadia returns the ball during a women's tennis match on Saturday against Florida Atlantic.  Miami won 7-0.  BILLY GILBERT // HURRICANE STAFF.

Cluadia returns the ball during a women's tennis match on Saturday against Florida Atlantic. Miami won 7-0. BILLY GILBERT // HURRICANE STAFF.

Don’t tell the women’s tennis team that it’s no longer hurricane season.


On both Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, Miami swept in-state opponents 7-0 in straight-sets victories.

Eighth-ranked sophomore transfer Julia Cohen led the Canes with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Florida Gulf Coast University’s Priscilla Villemond and a perfect 6-0, 6-0 romp against Florida Atlantic’s Natalia Totevska in singles competition in the first position.

She and two-time All-American junior Laura Vallverdu took a pair of doubles matches by scores of 8-1 on the weekend.

Sophomores Bianca Eichkorn and Michaela Kissell, ranked 14th, also cruised to easy victories in doubles competition.

Under eighth-year head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, UM has never lost a season-opening match and improved to 26-0 all-time against the Owls (0-3).

The Hurricanes have four nationally-ranked players – Cohen, Vallverdu, Eichkorn and Kissell – three of whom are in the top 50.

Miami (2-0) hosts in-town rival Florida International (1-0) at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Fourth-year head coach Mario Rincon and the 17th-ranked men’s tennis team, meanwhile, split a pair of matches without their top-two singles players – No. 17 senior Daniel Vallverdu, who continues to nurse a pectoral strain he suffered during the ITA National Indoor Championships, and senior David Rosenfeld.

Vallverdu’s absence hurt the Canes’ doubles play as he and sophomore Carl Sundberg are ranked 28th. In both matches, UM lost the doubles point for early 1-0 deficits.

On Sunday afternoon, No. 24 Rice (7-0) handed Miami a 4-3 loss with wins from the first, second and sixth positions.

“It’s definitely hard to lose the doubles point,” Rincon said. “We had opportunities to win the match – we had the momentum going for a little while there. Regardless, our guys played extremely hard and we are improving.”

Freshman Ignacio Taboada and Sundberg each won in two sets, while sophomore Keith Crowley upset 61st-ranked Sam Garfoth-Bles, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.

In the season opener Thursday night, Taboada outlasted Lawrence Harradine, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Hurricanes against the Owls (2-3).

Miami (1-1) reeled off three straight wins in singles matches and took four of six. Crowley easily disposed of his opponent, 6-3, 6-1, while Sundberg and junior transfer David Simon also won in two sets.

“We went out there and lost the doubles point and I went out into my match wanting to even things up,” Crowley said. “Get the guys back to one all, and let them finish it up from there. I finished my match up pretty quickly and I think I gave the team a pretty big boost.”

The Hurricanes will participate in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Malibu, Calif.

January 25, 2009


Christina De Nicola

Editor In Chief

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