Hoosier Comeback Falls Short in Big Ten Opener
March 7, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Hoosier comeback fell short in their Big Ten opener, dropping a road match (5-2) to Illinois on Saturday. The match was very tight, evidenced by five of six singles matches going three sets.
"Like last week, this was another great college tennis match," said Head Coach Lin Loring. "Very seldom do you see five of six singles matches go three sets.
"We were literally two points from the match," said Loring. "We had multiple match points in two of the matches we lost. That being said, this was a great effort by our team."
Illinois jumped ahead 1-0 by splitting the doubles decision. Myriam Sopel and Katya Zapadalova teamed up for the first time this season, taking a 5-0 lead to start their No. 1 doubles contest. The IU tandem then withstood an Illini push for the 8-6 win. Illinois was able to grab the other two doubles matches, however, to snag the doubles point. Indiana senior Stephanie Heller earned a start at third doubles.
The Fighting Illini increased their lead to 3-0 by notching wins at second and fourth singles before the Hoosiers began to make their comeback. It started with Lindsey Stuckey and her three-set win over Amy Allin at No. 5 singles.
Meanwhile, Zapadalova and Alba Berdala had won their second set to force a third set in their respective individual matches. At No. 6 singles, Megan Matter and Shivani Dave were headed to a third set as well. Berdala finished off her opponent, 6-4, for her seventh win of the dual match season, but the other two match-ups went in favor the Fighting Illini for a 5-2 final team tally.
"We competed extremely well," said Loring. "They had a large noisy crowd that helped them win the close matches."
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