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Women's Tennis Set for Road Matches Against Minnesota and Iowa

March 24, 2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's tennis team hits the road this coming weekend as it takes on No. 54 Minnesota at 7 p.m. ET on March 26, and then No. 18 Iowa on March 26 at 12 p.m. The match against Minnesota will take place in Minneapolis, Minn. and the Iowa match will take place in Iowa City, Iowa.

Last Time Out
The Spartans most recently outlasted Eastern Michigan at home on Sunday, March 21, 4-3.

The Spartans earned the doubles point for the 10th time this season after they swept the doubles pairings from EMU. Junior Whitney Wilson (Evansville, Ind.) teamed with freshman Amy Barton (Brisbane, Australia) to top Miriam Westerink and Celine Donnet at the No. 1 spot, 8-6. At No. 2 doubles, freshman Michaela Silesova (Topolcany, Slavakia) and sophomore Elena Ivanova (Moscow, Russia) defeated Xu Chang and Georgia de'Lisle-Tarr, 8-5, while the tandem of freshman Nicole Herzog (Manilia, Brazil) and senior Christine Milliken (Traverse City, Mich.) posted an 8-2 win over Marcela Rivero and Rumbidzai Muskwe at the No. 3 position

Wilson, Barton and Ivanova all posted wins in singles action to secure the victory for the Spartans.

Freshmen Sensations
Currently leading the Spartans at the top of the lineup are Herzog and Silesova. Between Herzog and Silesova, the two freshmen have recorded nine wins at the top two positions in the singles lineup.

With the addition of Barton, who just earned her first win at the No. 4 spot over EMU's Karina Ahuja, 6-4, 6-3, the freshman class has accounted for every match in the top two positions of the singles lineup for the Green and White.



Silesova most recently earned her first win at No. 1 singles over Kelly Lamble of Cal Poly, 4-6, 7-6 (10), 10-6, to post the lone point for the Spartans.

Adding Depth
With a combined effort from Ivanova, junior Manon Noe (Liancourt, France), sophomores Ashley Stockwell (Okemos, Mich.) and Dana Guentert (Lilburn, Ga.), Wilson and senior Christine Milliken (Traverse City, Mich.) in the lower portion of the lineup, the No. 4 and 5 singles positions have both compiled winning records in addition to the No. 2 spot.

An overall record of 8-6 has been accumulated at the No. 4 spot with four wins coming from Wilson, two from Ivanova, one from Milliken and the most recent from Barton.

The No. 5 singles spot stands at 7-7 on the season with four wins coming from Ivanova, while one win each was posted by Guentert, Noe and Wilson. Ivanova has had the two most recent wins at this position.

The No. 2 position has tallied six wins so far this season with Herzog leading the way with an individual record of 3-6 at the spot. Herzog's most recent win came against Theadora Kotsiou of Evansville, 6-3, 2-6, 10-3. Fellow freshman Silesova has earned the other three wins at No. 2 singles with her 3-1 record.

Doubles Delight
Doubles action has proven to be an asset for the Spartans. MSU has attained the doubles point in ten of 13 matches so far this season. The Green and White have claimed the doubles point in four of the eight matches that it has lost overall. Between No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, the Spartans have only given up 12 matches, leaving all three positions with winning overall records.

Herzog and Noe have made the greatest contribution to the overall 8-4 mark. At the No. 1 position, Herzog and Noe have compiled a record of 5-1, while Ivanova and Silesova have added with a 3-3 record. Ivanova and Silesova have earned the three most recent wins at the spot with the latest being a victory over Western Michigan.

Barton and Wilson are currently 8-0 at the No. 2 spot. The two most recently defeated Alex Zaniewski and Carmen Pham of Eastern Michigan, 8-6, to bring in the pairings eighth win. The other three positional wins were gained by the doubles pairing of Silesova and Ivanova who tally a 3-1 mark on the season, bringing the No. 2 doubles spot to 11-2 overall.

At No. 3 doubles, Herzog and Milliken have joined forces to tally a 5-3 record. Also posting wins at the position is the tandem of Barton and Wilson (2-2), and the pairing of Ivanova and Milliken (2-0), to contribute to the 9-5 overall mark.

Around the World
Of the 12 girls on the women's tennis roster, six different countries are represented; Brazil, Slovakia, Russia, Australia, France and the United States of America. The Spartans are also represented by four different states; Texas, Indiana, Michigan and Georgia.

Among the coaching staff, head coach Simone Jardim is from Santa Maria, Brazil, assistant coach Shelley Godwin hails from Birmingham, Alabama, and former Spartan, and volunteer assistant coach Ana Milosavljevic arrives from Johannesburg, South Africa.

No. 54 Minnesota
Minnesota is currently at 8-6 on the season and are ranked 54th nationally in the latest ITA rankings. This match marks the beginning of conference play for the Gophers. The last meeting between Minnesota and MSU ended in Minnesota's favor, 6-1, in the spring of 2009. Tyler Thompson is currently in his fourth season leading Minnesota.

No. 18 Iowa
The 18th-ranked Hawkeyes are currently at 10-2 on the season having most recently defeated Tulsa, 4-3. Iowa's Sonja Molnar holds the 74th national ranking in singles action. She partners with Merel Beelen to claim the 23rd doubles spot. The two schools last met in the spring of 2009 where the Hawkeyes outlasted the Spartans, 4-3. Katie Dougherty leads Iowa in her first season.

Up Next
The Spartans continue on the road when they travel to Madison, Wis. to face Wisconsin Saturday, April 3, and then travel to Evanston, Ill. to play Northwestern on Sunday, April 4. Both matches are slated to begin at 12 p.m. ET.

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