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UB women's tennis head to Muncie for 2018 MAC Tournament


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The women's tennis team has dominated the Mid-American Conference this season going 8-0 in the conference and 15-3 overall.  This is the team's first conference title in a regular season and the team is riding a 12-match winning streak as they head to the conference tournament hosted by Ball State in Muncie, IN this weekend.
"We just made history," said junior Chantal Martinez Blanco, who plays in the first singles spot and first doubles with partner Lolade Ogungbesan.  "Number one in the conference - we're super excited because that was one of our biggest goals at the beginning of the season."
The team started out the season in February 3-3; with losses to St. John's, West Virginia, and Penn State, and wins against St. Bonaventure, Hofstra, and Duquesne.  Throughout all of March and April the team won all 12 of their matches.  For Blanco, playing the number one slot "has been a challenge, but I've been able to do it thanks to the support of my team."  Blanco was recently named to the All-MAC first team for the first time, after being named to the All-MAC Second Team for the past two years.
For senior Tanja Stojanovska, a second singles and second doubles player with partner Anna Savcenko, it has been a successful last season with the Bulls.  Stojanovska went 17-6 in singles this season and 20-7 in doubles.  She was also recently named to the All-MAC First Team for the fourth straight season. She has been battling minor injuries this season but she's "had the girls support me, coaches, training staff, everyone around me, its been amazing, they've helped me through it."
The team is a very tight knit group of 10 players who are committed to the sport and each other.  "We're a very close team, especially this year, we made a lot of effort to get close to each other and that has helped us a lot on court," said Stojanovska. With no freshmen, this is a "very mature team, and in our most important moments we thrive with our maturity" says Blanco.  "We work day in and day out reminding ourselves of what we need to do to get there."
The team mentality is to do whatever it takes to win.  MAC Coach of the Year, head coach Kristen Maines even implemented "mental meetings" where the players can "express what [they] feel and should do in the next match to be successful."  According to Blanco, these meeting have helped their match play positively. As individuals, everyone has worked hard in order to get the team to where it is today. "Everybody has a job when they step out on the court," says Coach Maines, "Everybody wants to be a clincher on this team and that's what I love."   
As the tournament approaches, the team continues to work hard in practice and will continue the mentality to get "one percent better every single match."  The number one seeded team will get the first-round bye, playing their first match Saturday at 10:00am in the tournament semifinals.

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