Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana women's tennis team dropped its Big Ten opener to No. 33 Wisconsin, 5-2. The match was closer than the final score would indicate as the Hoosiers led at one point 2-1, and look posed to pick up more points. Indiana drops to 5-4 on the season and 0-1 in the Big Ten.
"I think we played with a lot of heart today and a lot of emotion," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. "I am not sure we could have played any better. A lot of the kids that haven't been practicing during the week came in and played, and we were probably only two or three shots away from winning the match. That is a little disappointing, but all things considered, we probably played as hard and with as much emotion as we could have today."
The Hoosiers dropped the doubles point to Wisconsin by a close margin. With the doubles even at one, it came down to the No. 2 spot. Indiana junior Martina Grimm and freshman Sarah Batty were even at six with Katie McGaffigan and Shana McElroy of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin duo was able to break Grimm and Batty and serve out for an 8-6 win, clinching the doubles point for the Badgers.
Senior Karie Schlukebir and junior Linda Tran started the Hoosiers out right with an 8-2 win at the No. 1 spot over Linda Mues and Lara Vojnov. The win improved the Hoosier pair's record to 13-3.
Indiana took the first two singles matches for a 2-1 advantage over the Badgers. Senior J.J. Levin started it off with a 6-2, 6-3 win at the No. 6 singles spot over Teresa Gonzaga. Levin improved to 2-0 on the season after returning to the lineup last weekend. She had missed the majority of the season after having shoulder surgery.
"J.J. Levin did a great job with her singles," Loring said. "She never really practices during the week, and for her to go out and beat a girl that is a regular starter in the Big Ten that was a great win for her."
With her matches seemingly numbered, Schlukebir followed suit with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Wisconsin's Lara Vojnov at the No. 5 spot. She returned to the lineup last weekend after finding out cancer had re-emerged in her body and undergoing tests. Schlukebir improved to 11-3 on the year and 6-0 this spring.
"Karie just played great today," Loring said. "She knows that each match could be her last one with us before she goes and gets treatment. She is just playing real inspired tennis."
Wisconsin would go on to claim the last four singles matches to claim the victory. Indiana lost tough matches at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 singles. The match between UW's Shana McElroy and IU's Batty went to a third set tiebreak. McElroy claimed the win 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 at No. 2.
Indiana will be back in action tomorrow morning when they battle No. 11 Northwestern. The match carries a 10 a.m. start time at the Indiana Tennis Center.