It Doesn't Get Much Closer Than That ... IU Wins 4-3
Feb. 27, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - It took 16 sets worth of singles play to decide Saturday's ultra-tight women's tennis match as the No. 23 Hoosiers got by the visiting Oregon Ducks, 4-3. Indiana improves to 10-2 on the season with the win.
Following his Hoosiers' victory over top-10 opponent Tennessee last weekend, Head Coach Lin Loring warned his team that they would no longer be under the radar. And in the first match with a target on their back that comes with cracking the top-25, Coach Loring proved to be a prophet as Oregon came into Bloomington and gave the Hoosiers all they could handle.
"This was a great college tennis match," said Coach Loring. "It was very entertaining for the fans. Oregon played really well. It was too bad someone had to lose."
The drama started right away as the first two doubles matches were split, forcing all the attention to the No. 1 doubles contest to determine the ever-important doubles point. Indiana's top doubles team of Myriam Sopel and Katya Zapadalova handled the pressure flawlessly and posted an 8-6 victory to earn the team point.
Though doubles action was intense, it had nothing on singles. Four of six singles matches went three sets and the second set in the two straight-set matches were decided by scores of 7-5 and 7-6.
Katya Zapadalova was the first to complete her match, notching a 6-2, 7-5 win over Pavlina Smatova at third singles.
"Katya's effort was huge today," said Loring. "She had been sick all week and only practiced twice for less than an hour. We weren't even sure she would play today."
Charlotte Martin was next to exit the courts, doing so with a straight-set victory as well to put the Hoosiers ahead 3-0 on the team scoreboard. Martin is 5-for-5 on the year in singles action after her 6-2, 7-6(4) triumph on Saturday.
Senior captain Lindsey Stuckey then clinched the team win by bouncing back from an opening-set loss to come back for a three-set `W' at No. 5 singles. Stuckey erased her early deficit and tallied 6-1, 7-5 scores in the last two sets.
The importance of IU's three singles wins was proven as Oregon snagged the final three matches to pull within a 4-3 final tally.
"This is three matches in a row where we really competed hard at every position," said Loring. "We could easily be 6-6 right now instead of 10-2. We are still not at full strength, but we are really fighting hard."
The Cream and Crimson now have a pair of big-time matches to look forward to for next weekend. Indiana is set to travel to South Bend, Ind., for a road match against No. 7 Notre Dame on Friday before coming back to Bloomington for a home match versus No. 2 Northwestern on Sunday.
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