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Around Campus: Tennis wins 3rd straight regular season title

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Around Campus is a weekly feature keeping you current in the land of the RedHawks.

Tennis: A weekend sweep over Akron and Buffalo gave the RedHawks (17-5, 8-0) a third consecutive undefeated season in conference play, making them the regular season MAC Champs for the third straight year. Miami will be the #1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament to be held April 28-May 1 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The 'Hawks will play on Thursday against the winner of Wednesday's Ball State vs. Northern Illinois match.

Against the previously-undefeated Zips (17-4, 7-1), the RedHawks escaped with a narrow 4-3 victory, clinching a share of the title. The 'Hawks won the decisive third game of doubles competition to take two of three matches and earn that point. But then they dropped three of the first four singles matches to trail the match three points to two. But victories in the final two singles games gave Miami the come-from-behind victory for the day. Then on Saturday, the 'Hawks stretched their conference winning streak to 30 games with a 5-2 win over the Bulls (6-12, 2-6) and won the title outright. Miami won the final two doubles matches and the first four singles games to earn the points.

The senior class of Sydnee Bridger, Cara Wald, Megan Martzolf and Anastasia Dracheva has played its final regular season game and finishes with a career record of 65-26, including 31-1 in MAC play.

Softball: Jessica Simpson etched her name into the Miami record books as she earned her 63rd career victory, tying her for the most in program history. It came after she was named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for her performance the week before, when she picked up three wins (two of them shutouts). The win came at the end of a busy week for the 'Hawks, a 4-0 complete game shutout for Simpson that capped a 5-1 week for Miami.

On Tuesday, the 'Hawks (24-18, 7-7) completed a doubleheader sweep of Butler (26-18) by scores of 3-0 and 7-1. In the first game, Simpson struck out 14 batters while throwing a one-hitter in the complete game shutout, her 18th win of the season. Then in the nightcap, the 'Hawks scored five runs in the first inning, with firstbaseman Allie Larrabee providing three of Miami's 11 hits in the game. Katie Osburn allowed just one unearned run in the complete game effort, picking up her first win of the season.

On Friday the 'Hawks suffered their only loss of the week, a 5-3 setback in the opener of a doubleheader against Buffalo (10-28, 5-7). Despite 11 hits in the game (including Larrabee's first homer of the season), the 'Hawks weren't able to muster much offense, leading to Simpson's 12th loss. But Miami bounced back in the second game, with thirdbaseman Daniela Torres hitting a walk-off two-run home run that completed a comeback from a 2-0 hole. Osburn (2-1) was dominant again in another complete game.

The weekend ended with two games at home against Kent State (16-24, 6-5). Miami won both games by identical 4-0 scores, though Saturday's game was shortened to six innings by rain. Simpson was the winner in both games, picking up her 19th and 20th wins of the year, with #20 being the historic #63 of her career.

The 'Hawks have already had their workload lightened this week, as Monday's scheduled doubleheader against Dayton (18-23) was rained out and will not be made up. That means the 'Hawks will be off until this weekend. Friday will be a doubleheader at Bowling Green (7-27, 1-12), and then Saturday and Sunday will see Miami taking on the Toledo Rockets (8-31, 3-9).

Golf: The Miami golfers finished in eighth place at the Kepler Intercollegiate, shooting a combined 46-over par at the 11-team event. Nathan Sutherland was Miami's top finisher again, shooting a 73 for 6-over par, tying for 14th place. The RedHawks will be the host school for the MAC Championships next weekend, with TPC River's Bend in Maineville being the site of the competition.

Women's Track & Field: For the second consecutive week, a member of the RedHawk's track & field squad was named MAC Athlete of the Week. Rachel Patterson won the award after she broke the school record time in the 5000m run at the Mt. SAC Relays the week before. Her time of 16:14.45 is the 27th best time of all runners nation-wide this year. Later in the week, she was named co-Female Scholar Athlete of the Week.

The Lady 'Hawks were spread out this weekend at three different meets: The Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, the Polytan Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana and the Mississippi Open in Oxford, Mississippi. None of the meets featured team scoring. The RedHawks knocked down a few personal-records across the competitions, but there were no event winners amongst them. This weekend, the team will compete in both the Gina Relays in Hillsdale, Michigan and their own RedHawk Invitational in Oxford.

Men's Track & Field: The Miami men were split this past weekend, competing at both the Polytan Invitational and the Jesse Owens Classic. There was no team scoring at either event. At the Polytan, though, Michael McCarty won the long jump with his best leap of the year, at 7.25m/23.9.5. Back in Ohio at the Jesse Owens Classic, Miami had two top-10 finishers at the meet, but no champions. This coming weekend, the 'Hawks will reconvene in Oxford for the RedHawk Invitational on Saturday.

Soccer: The RedHawks completed their Spring practice schedule with a 2-0 win over Indiana. They ended the session with a 4-2-1 record.

Miami Women Athletes: Mary Hull (field hockey), Brooke Livingston (soccer) and Kelsey Vehr (swimming) were all named the College Sportswomen of the Year for their respective sports by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Women's Sports Association.

NHL Playoffs: Miami hockey alumni Dan Boyle and Alec Martinez continued their personal quests for the Stanley Cup trophy, as their respective teams squared off in the opening round of the NHL playoffs. Entering Monday night's Game 6, Boyle's San Jose Sharks held a 3 games to 2 advantage over Martinez's Los Angeles Kings, who are fighting to avoid elimination in the best-of-seven series.

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