March 30, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's tennis team dropped its Big Ten home opener to Ohio State, 5-2, on Friday. The Spartans won the doubles point, but sophomore Stephanie Kebler was the only member of the team to pick up a singles win. With the loss, MSU falls to 11-5 (2-1, Big Ten) while the Buckeyes advance their record to 13-5 (3-1, Big Ten).
"Again, I was very happy with our execution and energy in doubles," said MSU head coach Erica Perkins, "but to beat teams in the Big Ten we are going to have to do more than win the doubles point. Ohio State out worked us from the get-go at the bottom positions, and we dug ourselves too deep of a hole. I thought Stephanie Kebler really shined today on the singles court and earned a big victory over a tough opponent."
The Spartans swept the doubles matches to earn the point and a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play. At No. 2, senior Pascale Schnitzer and junior Ana Milosavljevic collected the first win defeating Sonia Ruzimovsky and Caitlin O'Keefe 8-5.
In the next match off the courts, Kebler and junior Christine Bader clinched the point for MSU with an 8-4 win at No. 1 over Julie Blackmore and Ally Mueller. Seniors Sarah Andrews and Jessica Baron finished off the sweep at No. 3, defeating Ciara Finucane and Kristin Messmer, 8-7.
Ohio State earned the next four points in singles play to secure the match. Milosavljevic dropped at No. 5 to O'Keefe, 6-0, 6-1. In the next match to finish, Baron was defeated at No. 4 by Ruzimovsky, 6-2, 6-3. Marianne Eelens was topped by Julie Voss at No. 6 in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. At No. 1, Bader pushed Mueller to three sets, before falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Kebler earned the lone Spartan singles win at No. 2 in three sets against Blackmore. Kebler took the lead with a 6-0 win in the first set, but was bested by Blackmore in the second 4-6. In a hard-fought third set, Kebler came away victorious, 7-5.
In the final match to finish, Schnitzer retired in the third set, giving Christina Keesey the win and posting the 5-2 final. Schnitzer fell in the first set, 6-7, but rebounded with a second-set win, 7-6. Keesey pulled ahead 4-0 in the third set before the match was retired.
MSU will return to the courts in East Lansing on Sunday at 10:30 a.m., against the No. 33 Indiana Hoosiers.