April 7, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - -
No. 70 Michigan State women's tennis team (12-6, 1-4 Big Ten) will welcome Penn State and Ohio State this weekend. The Spartans and Nittany Lions will face off on Saturday, April 9th at 11 a.m. The following day, Sunday, April 10th, MSU and Ohio State will matchup at 11 a.m. Both contests are scheduled to be played at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
Last Time Out
Michigan State dropped both of its Big Ten matches last weekend after it traveled to Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Spartans fell to the Badgers, 6-1, and was edged 4-3 by the Golden Gophers.
Against the Badgers, sophomore Marina Bohrer was the lone Spartan to win a singles match. She topped Nicky Stracar, 6-2, 6-3, at the No. 3 position. Bohrer was also a part of the only MSU doubles pairing to win a match against Wisconsin. Bohrer partnered with sophomore Amy Barton dropped Jenny Hois and Alaina Trgovich, 8-4. The Spartans failed to capture the doubles point after they suffered losses at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Bohrer and Barton combined again against Minnesota to record a doubles victory, this time with an 8-1 victory over Natallia Pintusava and Yuliana Umanets. At the No. 3 slot, sophomore Michaela Silesova and freshman Valentina Rusakova clinched the doubles point when they battled with Magdalena Wiecha and Mariana Spilca for a 9-7 win. In singles play, Michigan State won at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, Rusakova edged Ferrazzi, 6-4, 6-3, and Bohrer defeated Umanets, 6-1, 6-3.
Scouting the Spartans
There's No Place Like Home
The Spartans started out strong this season, going 11-2 in non-conference play. Their current 12-6 record surpasses the Green and White's combined season records in 2010 (7-17) and 2009 (8-16). They began their season with a 7-1 record, before falling to No. 8 Michigan, 6-1, their first Big Ten match of the season. They then posted an impressive 4-3 win over No. 43 William & Mary when the Spartans traveled to Bradenton, Fla. They have only recorded one conference win, which was over Indiana, so far this season.
The Spartans have recorded a notable record on their home court this season, going 10-2 in East Lansing. They are 1-1 in Big Ten play at home, after falling to Purdue, 4-3, and edging Indiana, 4-3. MSU will host Penn State and Ohio State this upcoming weekend and then welcome Northwestern on April 24th at 11 a.m.
MSU has seen great success from all of its players in singles play this season. Seeing all of her action at the No. 1 singles spot, No. 121 Barton has posted an 11-4 record and has been key to some major Spartan victories. Rusakova claims a 13-5 record in singles and has tallied a perfect 3-0 record every time she has played in the No. 1 position. Another Spartan who has dominated at singles is Bohrer who has recorded 13 wins and five losses in her matches at the No. 3 position.
Doubles: A Point of Interest
The Spartans have won the doubles point in an impressive 16 out of their 18 matches played so far this season. Barton and Bohrer lead the squad at the No. 1 doubles spot with a record of 15-3. They posted dominating wins, including an 8-5 victory over No. 14 Brooke Bolender and Denise Muresan of Michigan, to earn them a spot in the weekly ITA rankings at No. 19. Rusakova and Silesova have combined for a record of 5-3 over the past eight matches.
In the first half of the spring season, the Big Ten has proven to be a powerhouse conference in women's tennis. Leading the conference in the rankings is Michigan (No. 10). Following the Wolverines is Northwestern at No. 16. Michigan State then comes in at No. 70, with Purdue just ahead at No. 66.
The Nittany Lions
Penn State (5-11, 0-4) has failed to record a conference victory so far this season, most recently losing to Northwestern by a score of 7-0. The partners of senior Denisa Zobeideh and freshman Carmen Sandor recorded the only victory of the match when they won at No. 3 doubles. The Nittany Lions also recently lost to Iowa, 5-2.
Ohio State (10-8, 3-1 Big Ten) dropped its first Big Ten match of this season when it fell to Northwestern, 5-2. Fidan Manashirova and Cami Hubbs were the two Buckeyes to record points for OSU after their victories at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions. Ohio State recorded its conference victories over Penn State, Iowa and Illinois.
The Spartans will play their last regular season Big Ten road matches next weekend when they travel to Iowa and Illinois. MSU and Iowa match up at 5 p.m., on Friday, April 15th and then face off against the Illini on Sunday, April 17th at12 p.m.