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September 21, 2023

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BG tennis team swings its way to nine straight

The BGSU tennis team is flying high. On Saturday the Falcons (11-4) extended their winning streak to a school record nine straight matches, after they disposed of Ferris State 7-0 at Toledo’s Shadow Valley Tennis and Fitness Center. It was the third time this season that the Falcons did not allow the opposition a single point.

In singles action Ashley Jakupcin, Jenna Nussbaum, Heidi Romer, Andrea Meister and Kelsey Jakupcin were all straight sets winners. The Bulldogs were without a couple of players and had to default the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles matches to the Falcons.

The only blemish of the day came at first doubles where Nussbaum and Romer were beaten by Leila Salek and Allison Halbert 8-6.

This was the last tune-up for the Falcons before Mid-American Conference play begins. The Falcons are predicted to finish fifth in the conference this year by the MAC coaches.

Falcon coach Penny Dean feels that her players are motivated to out-perform their fifth place selection.

“Going into MAC play we have a high level of confidence,” Dean said. “We are confident but not over confident.”

Dean has emphasized to her team to stay focused and take every match seriously, but also, to not fear anyone.

Sophomore Jenna Nussbaum was selected as the MAC player of the week for her performance in Florida over spring break. Nussbaum went 5-1 in Orlando including a dramatic come from behind victory against Mount St. Mary’s. Nussbaum dropped the first set and was down 4-1 in the second before rallying to victory.

Nussbaum attributes her outstanding play to the energy and focus she has put into tennis this year, and a little bit of luck. Nussbaum is healthy this year after struggling with back problems through much of last season.

“I’ve had a lot of close matches this year,” Nussbaum said. “Once you get into the groove of playing good matches you become familiar with close situations.”

“Jenna has been playing her game,” Dean said. “She’s coming to the net and playing aggressive. With all of her close matches she knows how to win and expects to win.”

Nussbaum thinks that the Falcons can maintain their high level of play going into their MAC matches.

“I think we have a top three team but we have to play like we belong there,” Nussbaum said.

The Falcons kick-off conference play this weekend when they host a pair of matches against Akron University and the University of Buffalo at Shadow Valley Tennis and Fitness Center in Toledo.

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