Tennis team starts season strong

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Photo Courtesy HurricaneSports

There’s no place like home for the University of Miami women’s tennis team, especially when the Canes pick up a No. 13 ranking in the country along the way.

The Hurricanes kicked off the 2014-2015 schedule with the Miami Spring Invite that featured battles by junior Stephanie Wagner and freshmen Sinead Lohan and Wendy Zhang. Overall, the full team went on to win 28 out of 37 matchups against No. 22 University of Texas, No. 44 University of Utah and No. 11 Vanderbilt University.

“I was really happy with the girls’ performances today,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews told HurricaneSports. “We knew that we needed to set a positive tone today … so it was important for us to go out and have a great showing.”

The doubles duo of Wagner and senior Lina Lileikite continued to climb the rankings ladder with a decisive 6-2 win to claim the eighth spot in the nation. No. 15-ranked veterans Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno struggled in the opener, dropping their first two games despite a close 7-6 tiebreak against Vanderbilt. They came back to win their final matchup and the first match of the day on Sunday morning.

In singles play, Wagner started strong with a 6-4, 6-1 romp of Utah’s Tereza Bekerova to snag the No. 7 ranking in the country, despite dropping two grueling three-set matches afterward. On the final day, all five of Miami’s freshman singles players (Judith Bohnenkamp, Silvia Fuentes, Yolimar Ogando, Lohan and Zhang) won their matches in straight sets.

The Hurricanes are back home again this weekend to host the ITA National Indoor Kick-Off Weekend. They will host No. 30 Florida State University, No. 52 University of South Florida and the University of North Florida in a bracket-style tournament Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.