Women's Tennis Knocks Off No. 34 Illinois, 4-3
April 5, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's tennis team won its third consecutive Big Ten match Saturday afternoon by upsetting No. 34 Illinois. Behind senior Olga Chernova's match-clinching win on court five, the Spartans (16-4, 4-2 Big Ten) edged out the Illini inside the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
Starting the match, MSU was able to clinch the doubles point, earning wins from senior Marina Bohrer and freshman Erin Faulkner on court one, 8-4, and junior Catherine Parenteau and freshman Athena Trouillot on court three, 8-7(4). Bohrer and Faulkner earned their 12th win of the spring season and evened up their conference record to 3-3 (.500). On court three, Parenteau and Trouillot clinched the deciding doubles point for the Spartans after MSU dropped its match on court two. Parenteau and Trouillot trailed 6-4 in the match but rallied back to force a tiebreak at 7-7. After both teams held serve in the breaker, MSU was able to break one of Illinois' serves at 4-3 to go up 5-3 and ended up closing out the breaker 7-4.
In singles, MSU won three of the first six sets. Bohrer picked up a straight sets win on court one over Allison Falkin, 6-4, 6-2, giving MSU two points for the day. Illinois came back to win three matches and take a 3-2 lead. Parenteau and Chernova, who both had won their first sets, were still on court for the Spartans and MSU would need both of them to win if they wanted to pull off the upset.
Parenteau opened up her match on court three against Melissa Kopinski winning a first-set tiebreaker 7-6(6). Kopinski came back to take the second set, 6-4. Leading off the third set, Parenteau stormed out to a 4-0 lead, helping her to claim the third set, 6-2. Parenteau improved to 11-5 in the spring season, including 4-2 in conference action. She has won her last three matches in a row and seven of her last nine.
Over on court five, Chernova won the first set over Jerricka Boone in a tiebreaker, 7-6(2). Chernova and Boone were again in a tiebreaker to decide the second set. Right around the time Parenteau won her match on court three, Chernova held a 5-1 edge in the court five breaker. Chernova actually had a match point, up 6-4 in the breaker, but could not come through and Boone took the second set, 7-6(6). In the third set, Chernova trailed 2-0 and 4-3. Down 4-3, Chernova broke Boone, held her own serve, and then broke Boone again to win the third set 6-4. Chernova won her team-high 16th singles match of the season and is also 4-2 in Big Ten play.
"We've been having to count on different people and I feel like I'm hitting the same note every time but on any given day, somebody else has to show up," head coach Simone Jardim said. "We are also coming up with wins from different people at different times when we need it which is huge. We need all six to show up and be ready. We took three first sets and from there it was just gutsy play by us. We wanted it really badly and I'm really proud. We are definitely peaking at the right time, this is what we want. Our goals are now different than probably a couple months ago and that's huge."
Illinois Match Notes
Play for Hailey
At the time of her death, Brouillet was dating Dominic Gaudio, who is a mutual acquaintance of senior Katarina Lingl. Brouillet was from the same hometown as Lingl and Lingl notes while she did not directly know Hailey, she had met Gaudio before, and she had heard about Brouillet's tragic death from people in her hometown. Gaudio has started a Share Her Spirit movement, honoring his late girlfriend. Brouillet was one to always have a positive attitude, always was able to put a smile on others faces, and she certainly treasured the smallest things in life.
In a mutual agreement between Gaudio and Lingl's Spartans, Saturday's match was in honor of Brouillet. Gaudio was present at the match and gave a pregame speech to the team.
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