EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's tennis team won a hard-fought match with Nebraska on Saturday afternoon to improve to 16-5 on the season and 6-2 in the Big Ten. MSU came away with a 4-0 victory despite five of six singles matches going to the third set, as the Spartans executed in tough moments all afternoon in order to come away with the victory.
"It doesn't get any closer than that," said head coach Kim Bruno. "When push came to shove though, we showed more heart and grittiness and we showed our ability to win big points the right way and that is why we came out with that match today against a tough team."
Michigan State started the afternoon off on the right foot by winning the crucial doubles point. The duo of Emily Metcalf and Davina Nguyen continued to roll with their seventh consecutive victory and they are now 13-4 on the season in doubles, including an impressive 7-1 mark at the first doubles court. Athena Trouillot and Samantha Memije earned their team-leading 15th doubles win of the year to secure the point for the Spartans.
Nebraska (18-5, 5-4) responded, however, as the Cornhuskers took the first set at four of the six singles courts. Senior Athena Trouillot set the tone though by winning in straight sets at fifth singles to give MSU a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard and give the other Spartans life as they battled back on their respective courts.
Fellow senior Erin Faulkner pushed Michigan State closer to victory by bouncing back after losing 6-2 in the first set by winning 6-2, 6-3 to pick up her 14th win of the season and improve to 7-2 on the year at second singles.
With all the other courts still up for grabs, the Spartans were looking for just one more win protect their home court and come away with the win. It would be Davina Nguyen on court four who came through in the clutch, as the high-energy sophomore willed her way to a win in a third-set tiebreaker after battling back from a deficit in set three.
"The message all week and all season was that we need to give that extra little bit and find that extra ounce we can give," said Bruno. "They believe in what we are doing and the girls stuck with their game plan today and played on our terms. That is what gives us the edge in a tight match like that."
MSU returns to action on Sunday, April 16 at 12 p.m. at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts when it hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes.