April 28, 2012
AURORA, Ill. -- A furious rally in doubles by the No. 3 team of Alix Thurman and Christiana Raymond gave Miami an early lead and the momentum held for a 4-0 victory over Bowling Green Saturday. The semifinal victory puts the RedHawks in the tomorrow's championship match for the fourth straight year.
Top-seeded Miami improves to 14-9 overall, while the No. 5 Falcons end their season at 10-10.
For the second time against Bowling Green this year, the doubles point was a battle. The No. 1 team of Stephanie Danesis and Christine Guerrazzi opened a 2-0 lead and led 4-2 when they took four straight games to win 8-2.
The match seemed to hinge on the result of the No. 2 match as the Falcons jumped out to a 6-1 lead at No. 3. But Raymond and Thurman fought back. They broke for 6-2, then lost only eight points in the last six games for the 8-6 decision.
With Miami opening a 1-0 match lead, the competition at No. 2 was stopped with a 7-7 score.
Singles play started with a bang for Miami as Thurman continued her momentum with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 5 that put Miami up 2-0. She bolted to a 5-0 lead in the first set, then opened the second with four straight wins. After dropping three of the next four games, she closed out the match on serve.
Raymond was tied 4-4 at No. 4, but won the next two games to take her first set 6-4. She was in a similar situation in the second, tied at 3-3 before putting making the match score at 3-0 by winning three in a row.
Guerrazzi came out strong as well, winning the first set of the No. 6 pairing, 6-2. After splitting the first two games of the second set, she won five straight for the 6-1 finale, clinching the victory.
Miami was ahead in two of the three unfinished matches. Nimisha Mohan was ahead 6-4, 4-3 at No. 3, while Danesis held a 7-5, 2-4 lead in the No. 1 match. Riekie Honiball fell behind 5-0 in the first set enroute to a 6-3 loss. She was in the process of rallying, leading 6-5 in the second when play was stopped.
The second semifinal match between No. 2 Akron and No. 3 Western Michigan takes place Saturday afternoon.