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Blue Raider women’s tennis opens spring campaign in Birmingham

MT coming off successful fall under first-year coach Godwin

January 26, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee women’s tennis team will be looking to build upon a successful fall when it opens spring dual match competition this weekend with a pair of matches in Birmingham, Ala. The Blue Raiders will begin the season at 1 p.m. Friday at Samford before facing UAB at 9 a.m. Saturday in the first two of seven-straight matches away from home to start the year.

“We are looking forward to getting our season started this weekend against Samford and UAB,” head coach Shelley Godwin said. “It will be a great opportunity to get two quality matches under our belts early in the season.”

Godwin, in her first season at the helm of the program, directed the Blue Raiders through a fall tournament campaign in which the team combined for a 62-23 (72.9 percent) singles record and a cumulative 33-13 (71.7 percent) doubles mark.

Senior Alex Dachos’ team-best 9-1 singles record has earned her a spot in the preseason listings, tying for 125th in the Campbell/ITA rankings entering the spring. She shared a team-high nine victories, including triumphs in her last six matches, with sophomore transfer Flavia Nagayama and junior Yuiri Nomoto, as all eight members of the squad were above .500 in the fall.

Senior Taylor Coffey also won her last six matches of the fall to finish with a 7-1 mark.

On the doubles side, the tandem of freshman Nayara Moraes and senior Carla Nava combined for MT’s best ledger at 7-2. Godwin’s experimentation of trying different combinations throughout the fall, 11 in all, led to positive results. Only one of the 11 pairings dropped more than two matches and each doubles team finishing with a winning record.

The combination of senior Marietta Bigus and junior Lexi Brand enters the spring with a three-match win streak, the longest of any Blue Raider duo.

Middle Tennessee will be looking to bounce back from a 7-11 season last spring. The Blue Raiders’ last win, however, came at home against UAB when they defeated the Blazers, 6-1, in Murfreesboro.

MT owns a slim 3-2 edge in the all-time series with Samford, although the two teams have not met since a 7-0 Middle Tennessee home triumph March 9, 1997.

Similarly, the Blue Raiders lead the UAB series by an 11-10 advantage after last season’s victory. It marked the second-straight win against the Blazers for Middle Tennessee.

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