SMU Looks To Win Three Non-Conference Matches This Week
April 1, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) -- SMU has won five of its last eight matches and will look to add to that this week as the Mustangs host Middle Tennessee at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Texas State at 2 p.m. on Friday and UTSA at noon on Sunday. All three matches will be played at the Northwood Country Club in Dallas. SMU finishes up its regular season slate with four straight home matches beginning this week and ending next week with Louisiana Tech on April 12 at 12 p.m. SMU then 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 fifth and final road match of the regular season at UT Arlington. In that match, Dasha Sharapova (16-9) won her third straight match as she defeated Maverick freshman Astrid Gehre in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, but UTA proved to be too strong on their home court as they defeated the Mustangs, 4-3 at the UTA Tennis Center in Arlington. UTA (9-7) quickly took the opening doubles point after winning at the No. 2 and 3 spots and then won at the No. 1, 4 and 5 singles positions to secure the dual match victory over the Mustangs (6-11).
In addition to Sharapova, Hristina Dishkova improved to 17-13 overall this season as she defeated UT Arlington junior Giada D’ortona in a thrilling three set match, 6-3, 6-7, 14-12 while freshman Anna Kate Anderson (13-12) improved to an outstanding 7-2 at the No. 6 singles position after she beat Christine Foote in straight sets, 6-1, 7-6. In doubles, sophomore Vaszilisza Bulgakova and Sharapova (12-4) notched the lone win for SMU in doubles as the tandem defeated freshman Ekaterina Tugarinova and Gehre in the No. 1 doubles match, 8-6.
Scouting the Blue Raiders:
Middle Tennessee is 9-6 and has posted a solid 4-2 mark on the road and a 3-1 recorded in Conference USA this season. Individually, junior Nayara Moraes has posted a solid 20-8 overall record with nine of her wins coming at the No. 3 singles position. In addition to Moraes, senior Flavia Nagayama is 17-10 overall while junior Tiffany William is 16-10 overall and 12-3 at the No. 1 singles position. Nagayama is the lone senior on the Blue Raiders roster.
SMU and Middle Tennessee last met a season ago on March 26, 2004, when the Mustangs fell to the Blue Raiders, 4-3 in Dallas.
Scouting the Bobcats:
Texas State is 8-7 overall and has posted a perfect 6-0 mark at home, but are just 2-5 on the road this season. Individually, senior Jessica Kahts has posted a solid 21-8 overall record with a 10-4 mark at the No. 1 singles position. In addition to Kahts, junior Shannon Beckett is 14-12 overall while freshman Eva Dench is 12-12 overall and 7-2 at the No. 6 singles position.
SMU is 6-0 all-time against Texas State with the previous meeting between the two schools coming a season ago on February 23, 2013, when the Mustangs beat the Bobcats, 7-0 in San Marcos. In that match, Vaszilisza Bulgakova won at the No. 3 singles position in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, while Hristina Dishkova, Yana Erkeeva and Holly Verner won at the No. 4, 5 and 6 singles spots.
Scouting the Roadrunners:
Texas State is 9-7 overall and has posted an outstanding 5-1 mark at home while the Roadrunners are just 4-5 on the road this season. Individually, freshman Miriam Canudas has posted a solid 13-3 record this spring while playing all her matches at the No. 2 singles position in the UTSA lineup. In addition to Canudas, sophomore Jacobea Junger is 10-5 this spring at the No. 1 spot while senior Isabelle Jonsson is 9-6 all at No. 6.
SMU is 8-0 all-time against UTSA in the 2008-09 season when the Mustangs ran over the Roadrunners, 5-2 in Dallas on January 24, 2009.
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, who lead their respective classes as they have posted overall records of 16-9 and 16-9, 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.
Who Hasn’t Been There:
SMU has had four student-athletes combine for a solid 11-6 mark at the No. 3 singles position which is good for a .647 win percentage. Freshman Dasha Sharapova has led the way for the Mustangs in that spot with an outstanding mark of 8-3.
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 two ranked teams including No. 27 Houston and No. 42 USF.
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. Below are directions from the Loyd All-Sports Center on SMU’s campus to Northwood.