Written by: Christian Turner
The University of Akron tennis team shut out Toledo in the final home match of the season, led by senior Zara Harutyunan.
“It has been wonderful coaching Zara,” said Akron Head Coach Brandon Padgett, who has coached the stand-out for two seasons. “She is a special young woman who loves to play the game…it has been a blessing.”
Harutyunan, a native of Yerevan, Armenia, came to The University of Akron already ranked by the International Tennis Federation. As a freshman, she was the first player in Akron program history to qualify for the ITA Midwest draw. For the past three seasons, she has been named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.
Sunday, paired with junior Angelina Jogasuria in the No. 1 slot, Harutyunan boosted her doubles record to 31-4 by defeating Toledo’s Kelsey Anonsen and Lexy Pitt, 8-4.
At No. 2, Angelika Jogasuria and Natalia Kuvakina beat Amanda Border and Pai Rygh with a score of 8-4.
No. 3 pair Ksenia Berestetska and Olga Shkundina won by default, as Toledo did not come with enough players.
The team swept the Rockets at every singles slot with Angelina and Angelika Jogasuria, going into three sets at the No. 3 and 4 slots, respectively.
Angelina Jogasuria went into marathon play against Toledo’s Pitt 6-4, 6-7 (3) and 1-0 (3). Angelika Jogasuria went the distance against Christine Coffman 6-3, 4-6 and 1-0 (5).
This win marked the ninth time this season Akron has shut out an opponent, the third time in MAC play.
On Saturday, the team defeated Eastern Michigan University in a 6-1 triumph.
The team won the doubles point with Angelika Jogasuria and Kuvakina defeating Georgia de’Lisle-Tarr and Mariya Toncheva 8-5 at No. 2.
At No. 3, Shkundina and Angelina Jogasuria won 8-3 against Daphne Friedrichs and Marcela Rivero.
At No. 1, Harutyunyan and Prang Pantusart lost their first dual match of the season. The pair suffered the loss to EMU’s Nino Mebuke and Mariam Westerink in a tough 9-7 set, bringing their overall doubles record to 18-1 and 5-1 in MAC play.
Harutyunan turned the tables in singles play by defeating Mebuke in two sets 6-2 and 6-2. Shkundina trumped Westerink at No. 2 in three sets 6-7 (1), 6-2 and 1-0 (8).
“I think that the other players on this team look at Zara and see how hard she tries, and how much she cares about the game,” Padgett said. “Zara is what we would call a ‘bulldog’ on the court…she hates to lose, and you can see that in how she plays.”
At No. 3, Pantusart continued the streak by taking down Ankita Bhatia with a score of 6-0, 7-6.
Angelina Jogasuria prevailed 7-5 and 7-5 at No. 4, while Angelika Jogasuria claimed the win at No. 5 6-1 and 6-3. Berestetska brought home the win at No. 6 by defeating Marcela Rivero in two sets, 6-2 and 6-1.
Akron is now 6-1 in the MAC and has an overall record of 20-2.
The Zips travel to DeKalb, Ill., to face the Northern Illinois Huskies in their final MAC match on Saturday, April 21.