April 1, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Despite a big win at No. 1 singles by Spartan junior Christine Bader, the Michigan State women's tennis team dropped its second match of the weekend to No. 33 Indiana, 5-2, on Sunday. The Spartans fell to 11-6 (1-3, Big Ten) with the loss, while the Hoosiers improved to 14-3 (4-0, Big Ten).
"Overall, I was much more pleased with how we competed today," said MSU head coach Erica Perkins. "Indiana really challenged us in doubles and we stepped up on the big points. In singles, one of our goals as a team was to compete and fight from top to bottom, and I think we did.
"Today, we got better as a team, but Indiana just had a little too much firepower and they were better under pressure on those big points. I was excited for Christine Bader. She has been struggling with getting on top in second sets and today, she played smart and aggressively throughout."
The Spartans put themselves on the board, taking two of the three doubles matches to earn the first point. Seniors Sarah Andrews and Jessica Baron came through for the Spartans once again, defeating Stephanie Heller and Brianna Williams, 8-4, at No. 3.
Despite a tight 8-6 finish, MSU senior Pascale Schnitzer and sophomore Ana Milosavljevic were unable to pull out a win over Indiana's Sigrid Fischer and Cecile Perton at No. 2. But with doubles knotted at one-all, Bader and sophomore Stephanie Kebler came up with the 9-7 victory over Alba Berdala and Laura McGaffigan at No. 1 to give MSU the advantage heading into singles play.
McGaffigan tied the score at one-apiece, earning the Hoosiers their first point at No. 2 singles with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Kebler. But at No. 1, Bader put MSU back ahead, 2-1, with a win over Berdala. Bader took the first set 6-3, but was challenged in the second set. Pulling ahead 3-2, she dropped the next two games, giving McGaffigan an opening, before rallying back to earn the next two games for a 5-4 lead. Then with the score at six-all, Bader earned the tiebreak by a score of 7-3, to take the set and match.
The Hoosiers tied the match back up at 2-2, as Spartan sophomore Marianne Eelens was defeated by Perton at No. 5, 6-1, 6-1. The Hoosiers went on to defeat the Spartans in the final three matches, earning three big sets in tiebreakers.
Andrews was bounced by Williams at No. 4 (7-6 (6), 6-3), giving Indiana a lead that it would not relinquish for the remainder of the day. Next off the court at No. 6, Milosavljevic fell to Lindsey Stuckey in an all out three-set battle that would clinch the win for the Hoosiers. Milosavljevic won the first set, 6-3, but Stuckey rebounded with a 6-2 second-set victory. In the third set, Stuckey held on to win, 7-6 (6).
At No. 3, Schnitzer dropped to Fischer in two sets, 6-4, 7-6 (6), for the 5-2 final.
Michigan State will continue conference play at Minnesota on April 7 at 10:30 a.m.