Hoosiers Top #26 Kentucky, 4-3
Feb. 2, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University women's tennis team, ranked-24th nationally, handed No. 26 Kentucky their first loss of the season on Saturday. The Hoosiers began the day by grabbing the doubles points and following it up with three of six singles victories for the 4-3 overall team win. Indiana improves to 4-1 on the year while the Wildcats drop to 4-1 after the loss.
"With such a young team, wins like this are really important early in the season," said Head Coach Lin Loring. "This win could carry us a long way, Kentucky is a really good team."
An intense round of doubles play set the tone for the tightly-contest match. Indiana's Alba Berdala and Katya Zapadalova went toe-to-toe with the 20th-ranked doubles team in the country before eventually falling, 8-6, to Carolina Escamilla and Christine Johnston.
The Hoosiers trailed for much of the other two doubles matches as well, but the end result was not the same. Sigrid Fischer and Lindsey Stuckey won four consecutive games late in the pro-set to climb out of a 7-5 hole, earning a 9-7 victory at No. 2 doubles. Just moments later, the tandem of Brianna Williams and Myriam Sopel also capped off a come-from-behind triumph, winning by the same score of 9-7 to secure the doubles point for IU.
The Cream and Crimson then jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of quick wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Senior captain Brianna Williams was the first to finish, topping Whitney Spencer, 6-1, 6-1. Lindsey Stuckey was next to come off the court, winning 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 5 slot. That's where things started to get really interesting, however, as Kentucky grabbed wins at the No. 4 and No. 5 positions to close the gap at 3-2.
Meanwhile, on the No. 1 singles court, Alba Berdala was leading Ketucky's Sarah Woestmann in the second set after a taking the first set 7-5. Berdala continued to pound away at No. 68 Woestmann, handing the Hoosiers the fourth and decisive point with a 6-2 win in the second set. The sixth and final singles match went three sets and in the Wildcats' direction to create the 4-3 final team score.
"I thought there were three key points to the match," said Loring. "First, was obviously the doubles point. All three matches were tight and getting the point was huge. Charlotte (Martin) splitting her first two sets was also a key. I think it really motivated Alba (Berdala, who was playing on the court next to Martin). She looked over and saw Charlotte was playing well, it got her going. And also the quick wins at number five and number six singles. Our team fueled off the two quick wins, and really started playing well."
Indiana returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 10 with a home double-header against Marquette and Morehead State. The matches are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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