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Second-straight SEC foe next up for Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee remains strong at top of lineup

February 24, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee women's tennis will hit the road for Oxford, Miss., for a 2 p.m. Friday match with No. 24 Mississippi, marking the second-straight away contest for the young Blue Raider squad. The meeting also signifies the last away tilt for Middle Tennessee for six weeks, as it will return home for an eight-match homestand next Saturday, March 5.

"We are excited about returning to the courts and again facing a formidable opponent in Mississippi," head coach Melissa Schaub said. "Like Vanderbilt last week, we are facing stiff competition; however, if we play like we did against the Commodores, our chances greatly improve to get a good result."

Although they incurred a 6-1 decision to No. 14 Vanderbilt Sunday, Schaub was quite pleased with how the team played overall. The setback gives the Blue Raiders a 4-2 overall record entering Friday's contest, their second consecutive against an opponent ranked in the latest Campbell/ITA listings.

Sophomore Yuiri Nomoto improved to a team-best 5-1 in singles action by collecting perhaps the best win of her career, knocking off No. 109 Jackie Wu at the top position to earn the lone Middle Tennessee point against Vanderbilt.

Juniors Marietta Bigus and Carla Nava post 4-2 singles ledgers at the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively.

Each of the top two doubles pairings for the Blue Raiders are 4-2 this season with the tandem of Nava and Nomoto accounting for a 3-0 record at the No. 1 slot.

The Rebels also own a 4-2 mark after defeating Troy 7-0 in their last outing, Saturday in Oxford. Head coach Mark Beyers' squad has won its last two, also posting a 4-3 win over Saint Mary's (Calif.) in a neutral-site match in Seattle.

Kristi Boxx is ranked No. 27 in singles action and when playing doubles, she and Abby Guthrie are listed at No. 22 according to the latest Campbell/ITA rankings.

Friday's match will the seventh time in the last eight seasons the two schools have faced each other. Overall, Mississippi has won all 10 meetings, including a 5-1 triumph in Middle Tennessee's lone NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000.

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