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Season-opening road swing wraps up this weekend

Blue Raiders head to west Tennessee for two matches

February 17, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee women’s tennis will conclude its season-opening seven-match streak of playing away from home this weekend with a pair of contests in Memphis. The Blue Raiders start the two-match set by facing the No. 55-ranked Tigers at 5 p.m. Saturday at the University Club and then battling in-state foe UT-Martin in a neutral-site meeting at 12:45 p.m. Sunday. Both times are different from previously announced schedules.

“We are looking forward to closing out our season opening road swing in Memphis this weekend,” head coach Shelley Godwin said. “We have grown a lot over the past 3-4 weeks as being on the road develops character and mental toughness. We are going to have to be ready to fight for every point this weekend against two tough opponents.”

Middle Tennessee has not played since Sunday and brings a 3-2 ledger into the weekend. Junior Lexi Brand owns the Blue Raiders’ best singles mark at 4-1, playing at both the No. 3 and 4 positions, while sophomore Flavia Nagayama and freshman Nayara Moraes have earned three wins apiece at this point.

In doubles action, the tandem of Nagayama and junior Yuiri Nomoto is 2-0, while two other duos also have garnered a pair of triumphs thus far.

Memphis is currently 5-1 this season and Saturday’s match will be the only one at home for the Tigers in the spring. UM features three players listed in the national singles rankings, while a doubles tandem also earned a spot among the country’s best.

UT-Martin carries a 1-2 record into the weekend and will not play until it faces MT Sunday afternoon. The Skyhawks won their last match, Feb. 10 at Lipscomb, after dropping contests at Arkansas State and at Evansville to open the spring.

The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series with Memphis, 14-7, and Saturday’s match will mark the fourth-straight season in which the two teams have played.

Middle Tennessee also owns the series against UTM, winning 23 of the 24 matches through the years, including the last 14. Sunday’s meeting will be the sixth-straight year in which the programs have squared off.

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