Stop Me If You've Heard This Before ... IU Wins 4-3!
April 5, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana improved to 12-7 overall, 4-2 in the Big Ten with a 4-3 win over Minnesota, their second 4-3 victory over the weekend and seventh on the season. The Hoosiers are now 7-1 this year in matches decided by a 4-3 tally.
"This was a perfect weekend for us," said Head Coach Lin Loring. "We won two Big Ten matches and we got to play both matches outdoors. It really couldn't have been much better.
"These two wins were very important for two reasons," said Loring. "They keep us on pace to get a bye in the Big Ten Championship and they keep us firmly in the field of the NCAA Championship."
Indiana entered the match knowing that beating one of the league's best doubles line-ups in Minnesota was not going to be easy, but the Hoosiers struck first at No. 1 doubles. Maria Guerreiro and Katya Zapadalova handed the Gophers their first conference loss at No. 1 doubles this season. The Hoosier tandem got out to an early 7-2 lead and held on for the 8-4 final score. In the end, Minnesota earned the doubles point though with wins and second and third doubles. Alba Berdala and Lindsey Stuckey did not go down easily at No. 3. After falling behind 5-1, they ripped off five straight games to take a 6-5 lead before the Gophers responded with a three-game streak of their own to clinch the doubles point.
In singles play, Indiana's depth played a pivotal role once again on Sunday. The Hoosiers swept the bottom half (No. 4-6) of the line-up, all in straight sets. Add in Zapadalova's three-set triumph at the No. 1 and IU came through with the 4-3 team win.
The team score was deadlocked at 2-2 with each of the remaining singles matches still very much up in the air. Zapadalova cruised, 6-1, in her opening set before dropping the second, 7-5. In her third set, the Yaroslavl, Russia, native notched IU's third team point with a 6-3 clincher.
Moments later as the rain clouds started to move in, Myriam Sopel beat the incoming rain showers and concluded her match by wining her second-set tiebreaker, 7-5; guaranteeing the Hoosier team victory.
With the score 4-2 in favor of Minnesota's Niltooli Wilkins in the third set, the No. 3 singles match was forced indoors as rain drops began to descend from above. Once inside the IU Tennis Center, Wilkins was able to notch the next two games and defeat Berdala in the third set.
"We are 7-1 this year in 4-3 matches," said Loring. "The team believes in each other and they just keep finding a way to win."
No. 1- Guerreiro/Zapadalova (IU) def. Chiarelli/Seaton (MINN) 8-4
No. 2- Koprivica/Sperling (MINN) def. Fischer/Sopel (IU) 8-5
No. 3- Wiecha/Wilkins (MINN) def. Berdala/Stuckey (IU) 8-6
The Cream and Crimson hit the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten matches at Penn State (Friday, 4 p.m.) and Ohio State (Sunday, 11 a.m.).
Check back soon