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UB women's tennis downs Akron to advance to MAC Championship


MUNCIE, Ind. – The University at Buffalo women's tennis team advanced to the Mid-American Conference Championship match on Saturday with a 4-2 win over second-seeded Akron in the MAC Semifinals.  The #3 Bulls will now face #4 Miami in tomorrow's final with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.

The Bulls, who avenged a regular season loss to Akron, got off to the quick start with the point in doubles.  Senior Laura Holterbosch and sophomore Mercedes Losada Rubio won easily at three, 6-1, and then the Bulls clinched the point with a victory at one as senior Margarita Kotok and junior Tanja Stojanovska won 6-2.

Buffalo increased its lead to 2-0 as sophomore Sanjana Sudhir won at six, 6-0, 6-2 before Akron tied it up with wins at one and four.  The Bulls regained the advantage as freshman Emel Abibula won at three, 7-5, 6-2, meaning the Bulls needed just one more victory for the match.

The two teams went into a third set at two and five as the Bulls took the first set in both matches, but Akron took the second in each.  Freshman Anna Savchenko came through in the third set with a 6-3 win to clinch the victory and send the Bulls to the championship match.

"We started off outstanding in doubles as all three pairs played with confidence and with the mindset that they wanted to be the ones to finish," said head coach Kristen Maines. "We knew that Akron would be very solid in singles, so winning the doubles point was huge for us.  We just fought hard all the way down the lineup and we showed that we wanted it just a little bit more.  I have never coached a team that has shown the determination and the will to win like this group that we have right now."

The 2017 MAC Finals will get underway at Noon on Sunday from Muncie, IN.  The Bulls will face Miami, who upset the top-seeded Ball State Cardinals earlier on Saturday.