April 20, 2008
MADISON, Wis. - The Michigan State women's tennis team lost in its regular-season finale, 5-2, to Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Center. MSU (12-12, 3-7 Big Ten) fell behind early, 1-0, after surrending the doubles point. The Badgers hung tough in singles, beating the Spartans in four of six matches. MSU's Stephanie Kebler and Manon Noe both won their matches in super tiebreakers for the third set, as Kebler took out Emese Kardhordo, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5), while Noe defeated Jessica Seyferth, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (13-11).
Wisconsin (9-13, 2-8 Big Ten) jumped on the Spartans early, sweeping a highly contested doubles competition. At No. 1, Christine Bader and Whitney Wilson fell to UW's Seyferth and Chelsea Nusslock, 8-4, while MSU's Noe and Ana Milosavljevic were edged by Elizabeth Carpenter and Morgan Tuttle in the tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-2), at No. 2. In flight three, MSU's Kebler and Lindsey Lonergan were clipped in a close match against Kardhordo and Katya Mirnova, 9-7.
Things didn't get much better for the Spartans in singles play, taking only two matches. Milosavljevic roared back in the second set of her match at No. 5 after losing the first set. But Wisconsin's Nusslock turned up the tempo in the third frame, defeating the Spartan junior, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
"You have to take your hat off to Wisconsin for the way they played today," said MSU head coach Erica Perkins. "They came out from the start and really played a flawless match I thought. I was happy with our energy and I thought we picked up some good wins at certain positions. We get another go at Wisconsin next week, so we will regroup and make some adjustments, and hopefully we can go out and get the win."
Michigan State will play Wisconsin in the first round of the Big Ten Championships starting on Thursday, April 24 in West Lafayette, Ind., hosted by Purdue University.