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NU tennis faces Marist, Fairfield


WILLIAMSVILLE -- The Niagara University men's and women's tennis teams continue MAAC Play this weekend beginning on Friday when they host Marist at the Village Glen Tennis Center and then will travel to play Fairfield on Sunday.

After winning consecutive matches against Mercyhurst and Mount St. Mary's, the Purple Eagles men's team has dropped their last two matches. Freshman Taylan Ozdemir leads the team with 10 wins, while the most in-form member on the team, Brent Boleslav, is second with eight wins. Before the match, the Purple Eagles will honor seniors Francis Nadeau and Felipe Fuentes. Niagara is in search of its first conference win of the season.

Marist is on a five-match winning streak, including opening conference play with wins against Rider and Quinnipiac. As a team, the Red Foxes have won over 75 percent of their singles matches and 65 percent of their doubles matches.

Fairfield has split its four conference matches heading into Sunday's match. Fairfield will host Sacred Heart on Friday for its final non-conference match. Brad Orban leads the Stags in singles with 14 wins and is responsible for a team-high 11 doubles wins. The Purple Eagles have won the last three meetings.

On the women's side, NU is 2-2 in its last four matches. The Purple Eagles resumed MAAC action with a 4-3 win over Monmouth on April 2 to improve to 1-1 in the conference. The Purple Eagles won their first doubles point of the season in their match against Monmouth, winning in No. 1 (Sharlee Deshmukh and Shannon Wong) and No. 2 (Sansriti Ranjan and Ali Hutchinson). Niagara's No. 1 Stella Peisakhova leads the team with nine singles wins.

Marist suffered its first MAAC defeat to Siena on April 2 to snap a three-match win streak. Five Red Foxes have at least five singles wins, led by Sophia Moeller team-leading seven wins. The doubles team of Callie Morlock and Claire Schmitz is a team-best 6-1 overall and 4-0 in conference matches.
Niagara has won the last three matches against Marist, including rallying from a point down twice in last season's meeting.

The Stags are 4-12 on the season and 3-0 in the MAAC with wins over Rider, Saint Peter's and Monmouth. Emily Lombardi leads the team with nine singles wins and is second in doubles with eight. Shelby Vertula is responsible for a team-beset nine doubles wins. Niagara has won the last three meetings, including a 6-1 win to open conference play last season.

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