ATLANTA, Ga. – Middle Tennessee’s women’s tennis team won back-to-back matches on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta, defeating number 67-ranked Georgia State and Florida Gulf Coast, respectively.
The Blue Raiders started the weekend playing the nationally ranked Panthers on Friday.
In doubles play, MTSU was able to easily secure the point. Tiffany William and Darya Shulzhanok won their doubles match 6-2 over Tarani Kamoe and Chaimaa Roudami, and the pair of Brittany Huxley and Nayara Moraes also picked up a win over Niri Rasolomalala 6-1. The third doubles match would go unfinished. This gave the Blue Raiders the doubles point.
They would continue their strong play in their six singles matches to win five of six matches.
An intense matchup between Middle Tennessee’s No. 67-ranked William and No. 102-ranked Rasolomalala turned out to be a highly-contested match, but it would eventually go the way of William 7-6, 7-6, 1-0 (7). This victory would be the catalyst for more successful play from the Blue Raiders.
Shulzhanok would push her win streak to four, earning a 6-3, 7-6, 1-0 victory over Grgan Masa. Giulia Squadrin would earn another point for MTSU, winning her match 6-3, 6-1 against Chaimaa.
Huxley and Moraes would also win in straight sets. Huxley captured her victory in a 6-3, 6-3 decision against Marcia Tere-Apisah. Moraes would pick up the last Blue Raider victory of the day, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Veronika Golanova.
The Panthers would pick up their only point of the day when Kristin Rehse defeated Jesse Grace. Rehse would win the match 6-2, 6-0.
With their five wins in singles play and the doubles point, the Blue Raiders won the match, 6-1.
On Saturday, they turned their attention to Florida Gulf Coast. MTSU would continue their strong play from Friday, shutting out the Eagles, 7-0.
MTSU won five of their six singles matches in straight sets.
William continued her dominant play on the season, turning back Sarah Means 6-2, 6-2. Shulzhanok would extend her win streak to five, earning a 6-3, 7-6 (0) victory over Elizabeth Means.
Squadrin would pick up another point for the Blue Raiders, defeating Johanna Sterkel 6-4, 6-2. Huxley was even more impressive in her match, beating Candela Munoz 6-1, 6-1. Moraes turned back Julianna Curtis 7-5, 6-1.
The only singles match that needed three sets was the matchup between Jesse Grace and Breana Stampfli. Grace would be shut out in the first set, losing 0-6. However, she would take the last two sets 6-2, completing the sweep for the Blue Raiders in singles play.
Middle Tennessee earned the doubles win by capturing two early wins.
Huxley and Moraes cruised past Stampfli and Sterkel 6-1. Squadrin and Grace would earn the same result in their match, taking down Alex Lambert and Curtis 6-1.
Huxley and Shulzhanok were winning in the third doubles match, but it would go unfinished, as the Blue Raiders had already earned the doubles point.
This gave MTSU the sweep in the match, beating FGCU, 7-0.
The Blue Raiders will face University of Tennessee-Martin at home on Feb. 7.
For more Blue Raider sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.
To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org.