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Miami University (Ohio) Women Team News
Miami Cruises Past Northern Illinois in MAC Opener
Saturday, 03/21/2009

OXFORD, Ohio -- Two months ago, Miami was picked as preseason favorites to win the Mid-American Conference. Saturday afternoon in the league opener, the RedHawks showed why, cruising to a 6-1 victory over Northern Illinois at the Withrow Courts.

The RedHawks (6-6, 1-0) showed little rust after a quirky three-week layoff since their last action. All but one of the singles matches went just two sets, with Northern Illinois (5-8, 1-1) winning just five total games in three of those.

"It wasn't the greatest display of tennis," Head Coach Howard Joffe said. "Considering we have been off for a while and we have been banged up and sick, I think we played well. We just need to get better and better as the season progresses."

Miami took an early 1-0 lead by winning all three doubles matches. Megan Martzolf and Cara Wald won their first six games at No. 3 enroute to an 8-1 thrashing, while the other two contests were closer. At No. 1, Anastasia Dracheva and Monica Gorny fell behind 2-3, but won the next six games for an 8-3 triumph. Riekie Honiball and Brintney Larson trailed 4-3 before rattling off five straight games.

Dracheva and Martzolf quickly dispatched their opponents 6-1, 6-1 at Nos. 2 and 3 singles to put Miami up 3-0 before Gorny clinched the win with a 6-0, 6-1 win at the No. 1 position.

Wald, playing singles in place of the injured Stephanie Danesis, earned a 7-5, 6-2 victory at No. 6 before Northern got on the scoreboard. Honiball, who has been battling a hand injury, opened a 6-2, 2-1 lead at No. 5, but wound up losing the set 6-3 to NIU's Emily Rogers. She then dropped the super-tiebreaker 10-1. Brintney Larson captured the final Miami point with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 4.

The match was the first of six straight at home over the next three weekends for Miami. The RedHawks return to action next Saturday against Mid-American Conference rival Ball State.