Nationally-ranked Herd on deck for Middle Tennessee women's tennis

Blue Raiders 3-0 for second-straight season

February 12, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee women's tennis team will face its toughest test of the young season when it travels to Huntington, W.Va., for an 11 a.m. Central Sunday match at No. 55 Marshall.

"This match will help us evaluate our team early in the season," head coach Melissa Schaub said. "We have had a good start, but I am looking forward to see how we react against a nationally-ranked opponent who is playing really well itself right now."

The Blue Raiders have begun the campaign 3-0 for the second-straight time under the direction of Schaub, in her first season at the helm of the program. Middle Tennessee picked up a pair of road victories at Belmont and Chattanooga before knocking off UT-Martin Sunday in the home opener.

Sophomore Yuiri Nomoto was named the Sun Belt Player of the Week after starting her dual match season with identical 3-0 records in both singles and doubles playing at the No. 1 position. Including the fall tournament campaign, the Tokyo, Japan, native is 17-3 in singles and 11-5 in doubles to lead the Blue Raiders.

Junior captain Marietta Bigus and classmate Carla Nava have also opened 2011 with 3-0 singles ledgers at the No. 2 and 3 slots, respectively. Nava and Nomoto have paired for the top MT doubles tandem, tallying an unblemished mark thus far this spring.

The Thundering Herd have climbed to No. 55 in the latest Campbell/ITA rankings, posting a 7-1 record. Marshall, under the guidance of ninth-year head coach John Mercer, features a pair of nationally-ranked players. Senior Michaela Kissell is No. 27 in singles and when playing with sophomore Dominika Zaprazna in doubles, the duo is listed at No. 63.

Middle Tennessee will return to the courts after Sunday's match for a 1 p.m. Friday meeting with Murray State at the Nashboro Village Indoor Facility in Nashville, Tenn., for the second indoor home contest of the campaign.

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