Their positions are vastly different, but the Miami Hurricanes men’s and women’s tennis teams had something to prove during the last week of competition. Both teams needed wins to keep their seasons’ goals in sight and both teams responded in outstanding fashion.
After losses to Texas A&M, Central Florida and South Florida, the men’s team finally fell out of the top 75 rankings. With the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule just around the corner, the men’s team could not afford to lose either one of the doubleheader dual matches on Tuesday. On the other hand, the women’s team had something to prove as well, although the situation is much more positive than the men’s team. After losses to Georgia and Michigan and with the computer rankings kicking in last week, the women’s team took a tumble down the rankings to No. 20. With conference opponent and No. 19 Georgia Tech coming to town, the Canes needed to show that they deserved a much higher ranking.
The women were first up with a dual match against No. 56 Boston College on Friday, followed by Georgia Tech on Sunday. The Canes first defeated Boston College easily, winning the doubles and first three singles matches before the Eagles could offer any resistance. On Sunday, Georgia Tech was supposed to be a much closer match up according to the rankings, but Miami proved that they belong in or close to the top ten of the rankings by giving the Yellow Jackets no chance whatsoever, sweeping the matches for a complete 7-0 win. The new ITA rankings came out on Tuesday and the Canes (8-2, 4-0) got a good boost, coming in at No. 13.
The men’s team made their statement on Tuesday by convincingly sweeping a doubleheader. In the morning they faced No. 75 Presbyterian College and absolutely dominated, quickly winning the doubles and three singles matches to take a 4-0 win. The other matches were not finished to give the guys a chance to rest before the afternoon dual match. Unranked Xavier (7-6) offered a tougher match for the Canes in the afternoon matches. After Miami took the doubles point, three of the six singles matches went to three sets, but the Canes responded to the challenge on each court and swept all seven matches for a 7-0 win. For the Canes to finish with at least a .500 record this season these two matches were must wins and the Canes passed the test with flying colors.
While the women are aiming for another ACC Championship and deeper run in the NCAA tournament, the men are trying to regain the ground they lost and win a few ACC matches this year. Both teams responded well to the challenge and will continue the season against ACC opponents this coming weekend.
Men’s Tennis at No. 23 Clemson, Friday 11 a.m.
Women’s Tennis at Pittsburgh, Friday, 1 p.m.