April 22, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Seeded eighth in the Big Ten Tournament and ranked 75th nationally, the Michigan State women's tennis team will face ninth-seed Iowa in the first round of play on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET. Northwestern hosts the tournament this year and all play will be from the Vandy Christie Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill.
The winner of MSU-Iowa will play top-seeded Michigan on Friday at 11 a.m. ET.
MSU concluded its regular season last weekend with a pair of losses to ranked conference opponents. The Spartans fell to No. 42 Purdue on April 19, 5-2, and lost to No. 48 Indiana on April 20, 6-1. MSU lost the doubles point for just the seventh and eighth times of the season, finishing with a 2-6 (.250) mark when falling behind 1-0. MSU is 15-2 (.882) when winning the doubles point.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 17-8 record and a 5-6 conference mark. MSU's 17 wins are the most in school history since the 1990-91 season when MSU won a school-record 18. The Spartans' five conference wins are the most since they won a school-record seven in 1990-91. Both 17 overall wins and five conference wins are second-most in program history.
MSU will face Iowa, a team in which it defeated, 4-3, on March 30, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
"What we've done this year has been the best year since I've been here and one of the best for MSU women's tennis period," head coach Simone Jardim said. "Looking into the tournament, Iowa - we beat them once. It will be a good match no matter what, they are very competitive. For us, it's about staying with the moment. Going into the tournament, it's one day at a time and we've got to play Iowa. How are we going to beat Iowa, that is our number one goal. Thinking in the moment instead of thinking ahead. We have to beat Iowa before we can beat anybody else."
In the Polls
The Spartans remain in the latest ITA poll, coming in at No. 75 this week. This is the third consecutive week the Spartans have been ranked as they came in at a season-high No. 60 on April 8. MSU was last ranked in consecutive weeks back in 2011, when it was ranked for five consecutive weeks between March 8 and April 5. The best known ranking for the Spartans is when they appeared at No. 52 on March 15 and 22, 2011.
The doubles tandem of senior Marina Bohrer and freshman Erin Faulkner are also in the rankings for the third straight week, coming in at No. 76. Bohrer and Faulkner finished the regular season 16-5, including 7-4 in the Big Ten.
Notes from Purdue-Indiana
- Faulkner defeated Purdue's Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, 7-6(5), 6-1, on April 19, earning her 14th win of the spring season and her 18th overall win of the 2013-14 season. Her 18 wins are tied for fourth-most in school history for most wins through one season. She is tied with sophomore Emily Meyers, who posted 18 wins during the 2012-13 season.
- Freshman Athena Trouillot defeated Indiana's Gabrielle Rubenstein, 6-2, 6-2, on April 20, earning her 17th win of the spring season and her 24th overall win of the 2013-14 season. Her 24 wins are the second-most in school history for most wins through one season, trailing Alicia Leone who posted 27 wins in 1990-91.
MSU 4, Iowa 3 - Recap from March 30, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa
The Spartans won their 15th match of the season and third in the Big Ten on March 30, coming from behind to defeat Iowa, 4-3, in Iowa City, Iowa. MSU was swept in all three doubles matches, but rebounded strongly in singles, taking five of six first sets. MSU used those five first sets en route to winning four matches.
All four singles wins for the Spartans came consecutively, changing an 0-1 deficit into a 4-1 lead. All four wins came in straight sets as well. Senior Olga Chernova defeated Katie Zordani on court five, 6-2, 6-3, junior Catherine Parenteau defeated Shelby Talcott on court three, 6-4, 6-4, freshman Erin Faulkner won over Morven McCulloch on court two, 6-4, 7-5, and freshman Athena Trouillot clinched the match for MSU with her 6-2, 7-5 win on court six.
2014 Big Ten Tournament
The Big Ten Conference announced the seedings and bracket for the 2014 Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament on Sunday. With its win over Purdue on Sunday afternoon, Michigan claimed the outright conference title, its fifth consecutive Big Ten Championship, and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The top-seeded Wolverines closed the regular season with an 11-0 record in Big Ten play and a 19-3 overall mark. Michigan receives a bye into the quarterfinals.
Northwestern earns the second seed after finishing the regular season 10-1 in conference matches and 16-6 overall. The Wildcats are followed by third-seeded Ohio State (18-7, 8-3 Big Ten). Purdue follows as the No. 4 seed after earning a 7-4 mark in Big Ten play and 11-9 overall record. The top four seeds in the tournament receive first-round byes and begin play in Friday's quarterfinals.
Illinois (13-9, 6-5 Big Ten) earns the fifth seed, winning the three-way tiebreaker over No. 6 seed Minnesota and No. 7 seed Indiana. The Illini will take on No. 12 seed Nebraska (8-16, 0-11 Big Ten) in the first round, with the winner moving on to face the Boilermakers. Sixth-seeded Minnesota (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten) will take on No. 11 seed Wisconsin (7-12, 2-9 Big Ten), with the winner advancing to face the Buckeyes in the quarterfinals. Indiana (18-8, 6-5 Big Ten) claims the seventh seed and will take on 10th-seeded Penn State (6-17, 2-9 Big Ten), with the Wildcats facing the victor. The Nittany Lions secured the No. 10 seed after winning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Badgers. The winner of No. 8 seed Michigan State (17-8, 5-6 Big Ten) and No. 9 seed Iowa (10-12, 3-8 Big Ten) will face the top-seeded Wolverines on Friday.
The tournament is scheduled to begin on Thursday, with first-round matches starting at 11 a.m. ET at Northwestern's Vandy Christie Tennis Center. Friday's quarterfinal matches also begin at 11 a.m. ET, while Saturday will showcase the tournament semifinals starting at 10 a.m. Sunday's championship match is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
BTN will air the championship match on Thursday, May 8, at 5 p.m. ET.
Wins from Six Spots
Coach Jardim is quick to point out one of the biggest reasons why this year's Spartan squad has been so successful is due in part to being able to win at any of the six singles positions. MSU has relied on each of the six courts at different times this season, and all six courts have delivered.
In fact, all six singles starters: Bohrer, Faulkner, Parenteau, Meyers, Chernova, and Trouillot, all have at least 10 wins this spring. Bohrer leads the team with 19, Chernova and Trouillot have 17, Faulkner has 14, Parenteau has 12 and Meyers has 11. Overall, as a team, MSU is 97-53 (.647) in singles play, including 30-36 (.455) mark in Big Ten action.
Bohrer Sets New Record
Heading into the team's spring break matches on March 5 and 7, senior co-captain Marina Bohrer was tied atop the school's all-time career singles wins with 64. With her 6-0, 6-2, win over Ashley Ta of Niagara on March 5, Bohrer was able to establish herself as the new No. 1 on the career singles wins list. Bohrer went on to defeat Mercer on March 7, 6-1, 6-2, for her 66th career win. Christine Bader and Jessica Baron are tied for second on the wins list, coming in at 64 wins. All-time for her career, Bohrer is 73-43 (.629) in singles. She posted a 22-15 mark her freshman season, 12-7 her sophomore year, 18-13 last year, and is currently 21-8 overall this season, including 19-5 in spring dual play.