Love it: Women's Tennis Beat OCU, Rutgers

Isabela Miro was full of smiles on a day her game was at its best. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.  – Isabela Miro de Campos hasn’t felt better all year. Sunday, she and her Barry women’s tennis teammates were full of “Love” in a pair of victories at Buccaneer Tennis Center.

The No. 4-ranked Buccaneers beat Oklahoma Christian, 5-Love, in a morning match before wrapping up the day with a 6-1 victory over NCAA Division I Rutgers in the afternoon.

“I think this is the first match since January that I was feeling better, physically,” said Miro, who won two singles match and one doubles match in dominant fashion. “I found my game today.”

Miro and Karina Goia beat Oklahoma Christian’s No. 3 pair of Angie Torres Quezada and Rebecca Aguilar Dominguez, 8-Love.

“From the beginning of the season, we have watched them grow as a team,” Bucs assistant coach Maria Lopez said of Miro and Goia. “They’re starting to complement each other’s game. They communicate well on the court. It’s starting to work better and better each match.”

Miro and Goia are 9-1 as a doubles team this season.

“I always have fun playing doubles,” Miro said. “Karina is always up. She brings me up, so you can see the results.”

With the support of family in town this weekend, Miro beat Aguilar, 6-Love, 6-Love, at No. 6 singles. She also defeated Rutgers’ Lindsay Balsamo, 6-Love, 6-4, at No. 5 singles.

“I was feeling really good with my forehand today, and my serve was much better today,” Miro said. “I haven’t been serving really well, but today my serve was really good. The serve is half of the game.”

In the second set against Balsamo, Miro trailed 4-3 before winning the next three games to close out the match.

“My legs stopped moving because I was tired,” she said, the exhaustion of her third match starting to take its toll.

The Buccaneers (16-0) wore out the Eagles and Scarlet Knights, however. Elisabeth Abanda and Emma Onila beat OCU’s Barbora Bozkova and Gisela Castany, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. The Bucs top pairs partners led 6-1 before their serve was broken during a stretch the Eagles duo won two straight games to draw within 6-3. But Onila and Abanda won the last two games to secure the match.

Linda Fritschken and Kimmy Twelker beat Oklahoma Christian’s Maryfer Abreu Roman and Gabriela Carrillo, 8-1, at No. 2 doubles. Barry’s duo played aggressive tennis, finishing points consistently at the net.

“It was very hard for the other team to find any weaknesses,” Lopez said of her No. 2 doubles team’s effort.

Fritschken and Twelker also beat Rutgers’ Lindsey Kayati and Mariam Zein, 6-2, 6-Love, in the only doubles match of the afternoon session in a format where doubles counted as two points and five singles matches each counted as one.

Ranked No. 19 in the country, Fritschken dusted off Abreu, 6-1, 6-Love, at No. 3 singles to help seal the deal against the Eagles.

“They all did the right things from the beginning in doubles,” Lopez said. “They were moving well. The girls just came out with the right heads. They did all the right things today.”

Onila won her No. 2 singles match over Rutgers’ Gina Li, 6-3, 6-2, to improve to 13-1. Down 1-0 in the first set, Onila mixed up her shots, while battling wind issues, to take a 3-1 lead. Li won the next game to cut it to 3-2. But Onila won the next two games, breaking Li’s serve, to go ahead, 5-2. After Li won the next game to draw within two, Onila finished off the first set.

“I had to play with more variety,” Onila said. “I felt confident on the court.”

With the score tied 2-2 in the second set, Onila chased down a ball into the corner and ripped a backhand down the line for a winner to take a 3-2 lead. It was a point during which Li had three putaway chances, but Onila’s fortitude won out. The Bucs freshman from Bucharest, Romania, who celebrated her birthday a day earlier, won the next three games to seal the match.

“It feels good because you keep your confidence,” Onila said, bouncing back from her only college singles loss. “It’s a process. Everything is a process.”

The Buccaneers processed two more singles wins against the Scarlet Knights as Goia weathered the storm in a 6-3, 6-4 duel with Stefania Balasa at No. 3. Akemi Maehama defeated Noor Judeh, 7-6 (7-1), 6-Love, at No. 4.

Ahead 3-Love in the second set, Maehama and Judeh battled to deuce before the Bucs junior from Tokyo, Japan, won some close points to take a 4-0 lead. Tied 30-30 in the fifth game, Maehama won the last two points, following extended rallies, to take a 5-0 lead. Maehama closed out the final game to give Barry its fifth of the match.

“I think everybody’s playing really good tennis,” Miro said. “We have a strong lineup, one through six, and we have fun playing for the team. We are really good friends, so we have fun playing for the team.”

Barry will host NCAA Division III No. 2 Amherst 3 p.m. Monday in the first of three matches this week. The Bucs also host Division II No. 9 Cal-Pennsylvania 3 p.m. Wednesday and No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic 10 a.m. Friday at Buccaneer Tennis Center.

BARRY 5, OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN 0

BARRY 6, RUTGERS 1

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