SAN ANTONIO – Middle Tennessee’s women’s tennis team (16-3) picked up its eighth-straight victory Sunday, turning back Texas-San Antonio 5-2.
The No. 65 Blue Raiders kept things rolling at UTSA. Doubles play has been strong for MTSU all season, and that continued on Sunday.
MTSU picked up two quick wins in doubles play to secure the first point of the match. Jesse Grace and Sarah Sediri earned an 8-3 victory at No. 3 over Daniela Garcia-Diaz and Lina Hallgren. Brittany Huxley and Nayara Moraes put the doubles point on the scoreboard for MTSU with their 8-4 win over Nicole Karaklis and Alena Shichkova at No. 2.
At No. 1, Darya Shulzhanok and Tiffany William completed the doubles sweep for the Blue Raiders, turning back Jacobea Junger and Miriam Rosell Canudas 8-7 (7-4) in a hard-fought match. MTSU carried the 1-0 advantage heading to singles play.
Grace, Huxley and Moraes made quick work of their opponents, all winning in straight sets. At No. 3, Grace defeated Shichkova 6-2, 6-3 to put MTSU ahead 2-0.
Huxley was just as impressive as Grace at No. 4. She breezed to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over UTSA’s Karaklis. MTSU was now up 3-0, needing just one more point for the win.
Moraes, as she has all year, came through at No. 6, providing the all-important fourth point. Moraes triumphed over Irene Gandara Gonzales 6-3, 6-3 to give MTSU the win. The win also kept Moraes undefeated on the season, improving her record to 14-0, which is the most wins in Conference USA by any singles netter.
UTSA got its first point of the day at No. 1, as Canudas beat William in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Shulzhanok picked up her 14th win of the season, matching Moraes’ win total, at No. 2. She won the first set over Junger easily 6-1. The second set required a tiebreaker, but Shulzhanok proved victorious, taking the set and the match 7-6 (8-6). Her singles’ record is now 14-2.
The match at No. 5 was the most compelling of the day. Hallgren and Sediri needed three sets to decide a winner. Sediri took the first set 7-5, but Hallgren evened it up with a 6-3 victory in the second set. The third set went Hallgren’s way, as she won it 1-0 (10-6).
The match finished 5-2 in favor of MTSU. The Blue Raiders have now won an outstanding eight matches in a row. Their record sits at 16-3 overall, and 3-0 in C-USA. As a team, MTSU is at the top of the standings in the conference.
Middle Tennessee will now have to wait for nearly two weeks for a chance to extend its winning streak. The Blue Raiders do not play again until Apr. 3 at Tulane in New Orleans. The match will begin at 2 p.m. CST.
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