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Tennis team looks to rebound after rough week

After losing most of their matches in their season opener, the Bowling Green tennis team will host its annual BGSU invitational at the Keefe courts and Bowling Green High School.

In addition to the hosts, the event will include the University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, University of Detroit Mercy and Indiana University— Purdue University Fort Wayne. Team scores will not be kept for the invite, but there will be a champion at each flight.

The Falcons won just four of 27 matches in last week’s invitational, but go into this home event with experience now under their freshman players. Meili Martin, Megan Miller and Madison Adams all posted their first collegiate victories during the season debut.

“Everyone did really well for our first tournament,” Martin said. “We didn’t get the results that we really wanted but everyone tried really hard.”

Martin and Miller came out with two wins each; one in a doubles match with each other and one to themselves in singles play. Sophomore Harley Hutchison also picked up a win in her doubles flight with Adams.

One of the team’s toughest opponents this weekend will be IPFW. The Mastodons were 18-10 last season and have been a power house in the Summit League for the last six years. In those six years they have won four regular season titles, three SL championship titles [out of six finals appearances], had the Coach of the Year once, and the SL Player of the Year five times.

IPFW’s biggest threat will come from returning SL Newcomer and Player of the Year Mayu Sato. In her first year in the conference Sato was 23-3 in singles play and 20-5 in doubles while never playing outside the top flight. For the current season she is 2-1 in singles and 3-0 in doubles.

Conference rival Toledo won two flight championships at this invitational last year and return this year after a solid season. The Rockets were 14-6 last year and edged Bowling Green during the regular season 4-3. They returned eight players this year on their nine person roster.

“I’ve never played a rival at the college level but I’m very excited. It definitely gives us more motivation to try harder in practice knowing that we have to play our rival,” Miller said. “I’m more excited for this weekend than I was last weekend. We’re playing at home and a lot of friends and family are coming so there’s more of that push to try even harder.”

Toledo is also off to a good start this season, taking three flight wins at the Spartan Invitational last weekend. Their only freshman, Sydney Huck, went 6-0 in her debut to win the No. 4 singles flight and the No. 3 doubles flight.

Detroit won two doubles titles at this event last year, winning the No. 1 and No. 3 flights. There are no freshmen on their roster this year and return Horizon League All-Second team player Viktoria Laskutova, who was 6-9 in singles play and 6-8 in doubles play last year.

The only team that will come into this invitational with a losing record last year is 10-14 Cincinnati. The Bearcats have four new faces this year and this weekend will be the season opener for them. However, this event is one that this team has played well at. Last year they won the most flight titles out of any participating team, taking three singles titles along with one in doubles competition.

The Falcons will go into this tournament still confident in their team after the Miami Invitational.

“Our attitudes were amazing, our effort was amazing and no one can take that away from us at the end of the day. We bonded as a team, became closer as a team and the freshman got to play some college tennis,” head coach Olga Elkin said. “We got better in singles and doubles and the girls did what they were supposed to do on the court. We just have to keep communicating.”

The Invitational will begin at 9 a.m. this Friday at the Keefe courts and Bowling Green High School.

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