Falcons split MAC openers

By Jayme Ramson

Assistant Sports Editor

The Bowling Green women’s tennis team split a pair of Mid-American Conference matches this weekend at the Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Toledo.

On Friday the Falcons extended their win streak to three matches with a 5-2 win over Toledo. But on Saturday the top team in the MAC snapped BG’s win streak at three matches.

Eastern Michigan remained undefeated on the season with their 6-1 win over the Falcons. With the loss, Bowling Green moved back to .500 on the season at 5-5 and fell to 1-1 in the conference. “They were picked to be a top team in the conference and we competed really well against them, even though we didn’t get the doubles point. We played better. We were more ready to play doubles,” BG coach Penny Dean said. “We did better against them at the bottom, but everyone competed well.”

Eastern Michigan jumped out to an early lead in Saturday’s match, winning two of three doubles matches to capture the doubles point. Gaby Coello and Alyson Gabel teamed up at the no. 3 doubles spot to defeat Amalia Lincaru and Julie-Anne Ryan, 9-7, for Bowling Green’s lone doubles win.

Teams of Susie Schoenberger and Laura Kokinda and Lisa Maloney and Jessica Johnson lost 8-4 and 8-3 in the no. 1 and no. 2 doubles flights.

The Eagles also proved to be dominant in the singles flights, capturing five of the six matches. Schoenberger lost 6-2, 6-0 to Lisa D’Amelio at the no. 1 singles flight. Gabel’s recent win streak was snapped when Eastern Michigan’s Rebecca Hawkins pulled off a 6-2, 6-2 victory at the no. 2 singles spot. Bowling Green’s Maloney extended the second set of her no. 3 singles match to a tiebreaker before falling 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) to EMU’s Ying Kansuthi. Lincaru defeated Coello, 6-1, 6-4 at the no. 4 singles spot and Kendra Clark defeated Cameron Benjamin, 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 at the no. 5 flight.

Against Toledo, the Falcons started the singles matches in a hole after dropping the doubles point. The team of Gabel and Coello was the only Falcon doubles team to win, posting a 9-7 victory over Daniella Moran and Eunice Paravicini at the no. 2 doubles flight. Down 7-4 to the Toledo team, they came back and won the match. “Alyson and Gaby are playing some really good doubles and they’re being tenacious,” Dean said. “They’re out there and they’re not going to lose. They’ll do whatever it takes to win the points and win the games.”

In a tight match, Bowling Green’s last two singles players left on the court picked up wins to secure the victory for the Falcons. Gabel defeated Viviana Rivero, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, at the no. 2 singles flight and Maloney picked up a win with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 win over Paravicini.

“All of the singles matches against Toledo were highlights,” Dean said. “Alyson and Lisa had to pull their matches out and that was a highlight. They had close competition and we had the whole team out on the court cheering for them and they both came through.” Bowling Green’s fourth through sixth flight players continued to show their strength, all finishing with wins. Coello defeated Eva Szuch, 6-0, 6-1 at the no. 4 singles flight while Benjamin defeated Moran, 6-1, 6-1, at the no. 5 flight. Kokinda also picked up a win for the Falcons, at the no. 6 singles spot with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Jenn Meister.

“I feel good about the weekend, especially the Toledo match because that was really close. It was important to get that 1-0 start in the MAC,” Dean said. “We were down right from the start [after losing the doubles point] we beat them really easily at the bottom but the top three were tough, and we came through there.”