April 21, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - With the score tied at 3-3, Michigan State senior Pascale Schnitzer pulled off a three-set victory at No. 2, as the Spartans downed visiting Wisconsin, 4-3, on Saturday. Despite losing the doubles point, the Spartans rallied in singles play to come from behind to defeat the Badgers. The win advanced the Spartans record to 12-10 (2-7, Big Ten), while Wisconsin falls to 4-16 (0-10, Big Ten).
"It was nice to finally pull one out," said MSU head coach Erica Perkins. "We had some disappointing close losses, especially in the Big Ten season, and I know how much the girls had worked for this and wanted this match. It was nice to see them come out and execute, especially being down 1-0 after losing the doubles point."
In doubles action, Wisconsin claimed the point winning two of the three matches. The No. 56-ranked duo of Caitlin Burke and Elizabeth Carpenter bested Michigan State's senior Sarah Andrews and sophomore Stephanie Kebler at No. 1, 8-3. The Spartans took the next match at No. 3, as junior Christine Bader and freshman Christine Milliken defeated Nicole Beck and Kaylan Caiati, 8-3.
At No. 2, Wisconsin's Chelsea Nusslock and Kim Roberts jumped ahead 6-3, but Spartan senior Pascale Schnitzer and sophomore Ana Milosavljevic rallied to capture the next three games to even the match at 6-6. The Spartan team was unable to finish it off, eventually falling 8-6, allowing the Badgers to earn the doubles point and a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
In the first match off the court, Burke blanked Bader at No. 1 singles in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, giving the Badgers a 2-0 lead. Michigan State responded with victories at No. 5 and No. 6 to even the match at 2-2. Eelens grabbed the first Spartan win at No. 5 over Erin Jobe, 6-1, 6-0. Milosavljevic followed suit at No. 5, defeating Roberts 6-1, 6-3.
At No. 4, Andrews came from behind to win the first set over Morgan Tuttle at No. 4, 7-5. In the second set Andrews jumped ahead 5-2, but Tuttle took the next two games to get within one at 5-4. Andrews hung on for the 6-4 set and match victory, putting Michigan State ahead 3-2.
Wisconsin got the match back to even at No. 3 with a come from behind win by Carpenter over Kebler. Kebler took the first set 6-0, but Carpenter forced a third set by winning the second 6-4. Kebler fell in the third set 6-2.
The match was decided at No. 2, as Schnitzer came from behind to defeat Caiati in three sets. In the first set, Caiati put together a 7-5 victory, but Schnitzer rebounded in the second set dominating to win 6-1. In the third set, Schnitzer took the lead early and came up with the 6-3 set and match victory.
"It feels great," said Schnitzer. "We've had a tough Big Ten season so we were kind of down, but it feels good to win like this in a close match. It was a team effort, and we all really wanted it, and we got it."
Michigan State will close out its regular season against Big Ten leader Northwestern at 12 p.m. on Sunday at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Facility.