Women’s tennis to compete in Miami this week
Women’s tennis to compete in Miami this week
Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Bucs to face FIU and Yale in South Beach

MIAMI, Fla. (March 14, 2023) – Following a win to open Southern Conference play last weekend, the ETSU women’s tennis team is taking its spring break in South Beach for a pair of matches against nationally-ranked opponents at Florida International this week.

The Bucs will first play No. 36 ranked FIU on Wednesday, March 15, followed by a neutral site match against No. 72 Yale on Thursday. Both matches are set to begin at noon.



The Bucs enter with a 9-4 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 record at home with wins over Appalachian State and Davidson at the Bristol indoor courts and wins over Radford at UNCG outdoors at the Dave Mullins Tennis Complex. The 6-1 win over UNCG last Saturday propelled ETSU to a 1-0 start in SoCon play.

Three weeks ago, ETSU entered the ITA National Rankings at No. 67 and came in at No. 68 two weeks ago. After a tough loss last Sunday at No. 4 NC State — a national championship contender — ETSU slipped just outside last week’s Top 75.

Starting with doubles, ETSU has found much success with top pair Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Mariya Shumeika (Minsk, Belarus) — owning a 9-2 record. Meanwhile, the duo of Maria Fernanda Carvajal (Queretaro, Mexico) and Daniela Rivera (Maturin, Venezuela) have an 8-3 record in the No. 2 spot.

Bakhodirova has played all 12 matches in the No. 1 singles spot, owning a 10-3 record. Carvajal is 8-1 as the No. 3 singles player, while Rivera is 9-3 overall and 8-2 from the No. 4 spot. ETSU won all six singles matches last week against UNCG with Shumeika, Emilia Alfaro (Azul, Argentina) and Ralitsa Alexandrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) joining the trio with wins.

The Bucs are led by Ricky Rojas, who won his 100th career match as a head coach last Saturday. Rojas has a career record of 88-55 leading the women and an additional 12 wins while serving as interim coach for the men. Rojas also has a 32-6 record against SoCon foes over six seasons.



FIU has a 10-3 record and enters with a No. 36 ranking. The Panthers ride a six-match win streak into Wednesday’s contest. FIU is also 7-0 at home this season, including a 4-0 sweep over nationally-ranked Maryland and wins over North Florida, North Texas, Michigan State, MTSU, Kennesaw State and Columbia.

FIU’s most impressive win thus far came in January over then-No. 18 UCLA — a 4-1 win in Coral Gables at Miami.

The team’s strength has been doubles play with two of the top duos in the nation. Yasmine Kabbaj and Oyinlomo Quadre are the No. 56 team in the latest ITA rankings, while Ekaterina Khayrutdinova and Kamila Umarova are No. 62. The former is 10-3 overall in the No. 2 spot, while the latter is 9-5 overall.

Quadre rides a five-match win streak for FIU in singles, mainly from the No. 3 spot.



Yale has bee in the ITA rankings the last couple of weeks, dropping from No. 57 last week to No. 72 this week. The Bulldogs enter with an 8-5 record and won both of their matches last week with a 4-2 win over St. John’s and a 4-3 win over Fordham. Yale will face No. 26 ranked UCF today at 5 p.m.

Thursday will not be the first time Yale has faced a SoCon member, as the Bulldogs have twice played Furman this season. The Paladins won 5-2 at home in the first meeting, but Yale avenged that loss with a 4-1 neutral site win in Montgomery, Ala. less than a week later.

Rhea Shrivastava will play the top spot for Yale, coming off a win over St. John’s in the team’s last outing. She and Vivian Cheng also defeated Fordham’s top doubles team that Saturday. Sophia Zaslow and Rebecca Lynn anchor the bottom of the lineup and won both singles matches last Saturday for Yale.



FIU has a 3-0 record against ETSU with wins in each of the last two seasons and a win in 2007. Despite losing, the Bucs held their own last season against the No. 35 ranked Panthers as both Alfaro and Yunuen Elizarraras (Cuernavaca, Mexico) won singles matches and Bakhodirova went three sets against Kabbaj in a battle of nationally-ranked players at the top.

ETSU and Yale have played just one other time — a 7-0 win for Yale in 2011.



The Bucs continue conference play after Spring Break against Wofford on Friday, March 24 in Spartanburg, S.C. 

For the latest information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.