The Eastern Michigan University tennis team started its double-header against the Dayton Flyers Saturday at the Chippewa Club. Eastern defeated its visitors from Ohio in the first match, as well as the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies from Rochester, Mich., in the second match—both by 7-0 margins.
The match started with doubles. The first double was made up of EMU’s Nino Mebuke and Klara Supejova against Carly Peck and Maureen Stevens. EMU’s duo won 8-4.
The second double was between Eastern’s Mariya Toncheva and Daphne Friedrichs against Katie Boeckman and Sammi Hornbarger. Eastern won in a tiebreaker, 9-8.
The third duo consisted of EMU’s Ankita Bhatia and Zsofia Biro against Claire McNulty and Erin Filbrandt. Eastern also won this matchup in a tiebreaker, 9-8.
The second match, against OU, went well for EMU.
The first doubles match consisted of Oakland’s Karine Celis and Juliana Guevara versus Mebuke and Supejova. Eastern won the match 8-0.
The second doubles match saw Oakland’s Emily Raidt and Tamara Blum taking on Toncheva and Friedrichs. The match ended with the Eagles winning 8-3.
The last doubles match was Oakland’s Cam Sabourin and Grace Keating against Bhatia and Biro. EMU won 8-4.
After the matches, EMU coach Ryan Ray was up front about his thoughts on the team’s performance so far.
“We’re doing all right,” Ray said. “We’ve had various different opponents, some very strong, some not as strong. But I think we’re building as we get into the conference season to be able to hopefully peak at that time.”
Ray said Supejova is the player who stands out to him most at this point in the season.
“She’s been the most consistent,” he said. “She’s had a great fall; a great spring, especially as a freshman.”
Ray praised other team members as well.
“[Mebuke] brings a lot of energy,” Ray said.
He said the most improved player so far is Bhatia.
“[Bhatia] has really started to play well in the last two or three weeks,” Ray said. “She’s been a lot more aggressive and really has been going out to win the points.”
Ray said he was confident in the team’s chances for the rest of the season.
“After this match we’ve got three matches in California, then the conference matches get under way,” Ray said. “[The conference is] pretty up for grabs right now. There’s no one team that’s showing that they’re stronger than anyone else. I think we’re headed for a top-three finish, definitely with the championship in the grasp.”
EMU hits the road for three consecutive matches in sunny
California. The first match on the trip is 2 p.m. March 5 against Cal State University-Northridge.