Schlukebir's Inspiration Leads Hoosiers past Golden Eagles
1!-- ... -->
Bloomington, Ind.- Inspiration comes in many forms whether it is from a fireman saving a life or a coach giving a rousing speech. On Saturday afternoon, senior Karie Schlukebir not only clinched the match for the Indiana women's tennis team, but she was the inspirational force behind the Hoosier victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles, 4-3. Schlukebir had missed the last two matches due to her cancer re-emerging. Saturday's win upped Indiana's season mark to 3-2.
"It was a good win for us because we don't have many more matches this season where we are going to have a shot to win," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. " We just found a way to win. Karie gave the whole team an inspirational lift. She got back from the John Wayne Cancer Center in California last night and said she wanted to play."
With the Hoosiers hanging on to a slim 3-2 lead and two singles matches in third sets, Schlukebir stepped to the forefront. Her match with Marquette's Genevieve Charron at No. 5 singles was in the third set and on serve through five games. Schlukebir, who had to serve underhand the entire match due to the cancer, broke Charron on her last two serves to give the Kalamazoo, Mich., native a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win. The victory for Schlukebir gave the Hoosiers the win. She is now 8-3 on the season.
"Even though she had to serve underhand, she did a great job and that was the deciding match," Loring said. "Her three set win was the deciding match for us. It was just a real inspiration lift for everyone on the team."
Indiana jumped out to an early lead thanks to victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Junior Martina Grimm and freshman Sarah Batty clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win over Anna Pavlovic and Michelle Mojzis. The win upped the duos record to 8-4 overall and 3-2 this spring.
"The doubles point was real important because we didn't know if we could take four singles," Loring said. "As it turns out, that was crucial and allowed us to win the match."
IU fell behind in the doubles after Marquette's win at the No. 3 spot. The Hoosier duo of junior Linda Tran and sophomore Dominika Walterova evened it up with an 8-6 win over Annabelle Espinosa and Vero Briseno. The win improved Tran and Walterova's record to 2-1 on the year.
After losing the doubles point, Marquette fought back to pick up wins at No. 4 and No. 6 singles to take a 2-1 advantage in the match. For Indiana, Tran picked up a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles over Mojzis of Marquette to even the score at 2-2. Tran evened her overall singles record at 6-6 with the victory.
Grimm set up Schlukebir's heroics by winning at No. 3 singles to put IU up 3-2 in the match. Grimm downed Marquette's Espinosa in straight sets, 7-6 (3), 6-3. She picked up her team-leading 14th win on the season as she improved to 14-5 overall and 3-1 this spring.
With the victory already sealed, freshman Sarah Batty almost picked up a come-from-behind win at No. 2 singles. After losing the first set 7-6, Batty battled back to break Marquette's Mojzis three straight times in the second set on her way to a 6-2 win. Things looked bleak for the Chesterfield, England, native as she fell behind in the third, 3-0, but she battled back to even it at four before finally giving way for Trujillo's 6-4 win in the final set.
The Hoosiers will return to the court tomorrow when they host Ball State and Indiana State. IU takes on Ball State at 9:30 a.m. and then battles Indiana State at 2:30 p.m., all at the Indiana Tennis Center.