March 24, 2014
SMU Match Notes
ARLINGTON, Texas(SMU) -- SMU has won five of its last seven matches and look to add to that on Wednesday as the Mustangs travel to Arlington to take on UTA at 2 p.m. in the UTA Tennis Center. This match is SMU's final road match of the season as the Mustangs finish up its regular season schedule with four straight matches at home beginning with Middle Tennessee State on April 3 at 4 p.m. SMU begins postseason play at the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament on April 17 in Tampa, Fla.
The Week That Was:
SMU competed once last week in its seventh match this season against a ranked opponent. The Mustangs fell to No. 24 ranked and AAC rival Houston in a close match, 5-2. Freshman Dasha Sharapova led the Ponies as she notched her second straight win in the No. 3 singles position as she defeated Cougar sophomore Maria Cardenas, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, improving her overall record to 15-9 this season. In addition, Anna Kate Anderson (12-12) won the No. 6 singles match in three sets as well as the freshman beat Houston sophomore Rocio Martin, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.
In doubles, sophomore Yana Erkeeva and freshman Macie Elliott improved their overall record to 12-6 as the Mustang duo disposed of Houston's No. 3 doubles pair, 8-5.
Scouting the Mavs:
UTA is 8-7 and has posted a solid 5-2 mark at home this season. In addition, the Mavericks have defeated three opponents on the road, including Louisiana-Monroe (4-0), Cal Poly (4-0) and Sacramento State (4-2). Individually, freshman Jessica Birowski has posted a perfect 11-0 overall record this spring with nine of her wins coming at the No. 5 singles position. In addition to Birowski, freshman Astrid Gehre is 6-2 overall while classmate Angeles de los Rios is 8-6. UTA has no seniors on its roster as seven of the Mavericks eight student-athletes are freshman or sophomores.
SMU and UTA last met a season ago on April 11, 2013 when the Mustangs defeated the Mavericks, 4-0 in Dallas. In that match, SMU earned points from then freshmen Vaszilisza Bulgakova at the No. 2 position and Hristina Dishkova's at No. 4.
Fountain of Youth:
SMU has no seniors on its roster as seven of the Mustangs eight student-athletes are freshmen or sophomores. The Ponies are led by sophomore Yana Erkeeva and freshman Dasha Sharapova lead their respective classes as they have posted overall records of 16-8 and 15-9, respectively. Erkeeva has played the majority of her matches at the No. 4 position while Sharapova has made a home at the No. 3 spot.
Start of an Era:
Joining the American Athletic Conference for its inaugural season, the SMU women's tennis team is competing in its fourth conference since the program's inception in 1972. The American consists of 10 teams during its first season, highlighted by three ranked teams including No. 24 Houston, No. 41 USF and No. 48 Memphis.
A Temporary Home:
SMU will play its home matches at the Northwood Club Tennis Courts while the new SMU men's and women's tennis complex is being built. The address for the Northwood Club is 6524 Alpha Rd. Dallas, TX 75240.