Indiana Looks To Get Back To Its Winning Ways Against Kentucky
The 36th-ranked Indiana womens tennis team (4-2) continues its two-match home stretch when it faces its third-straight top-20 opponent, 12th-ranked Kentucky, on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.
Things Get Tough
Indiana has a tough schedule this year. The Hoosiers face 15 ranked opponents this season. Eight of those opponents are in the top-25, and nine of those matches against ranked opponents will be played on the road. The Hoosiers are currently 1-2 against top-25 opponents this season.
Top 25 Opponents
@ No. 7 Northwestern
L, 6-1 vs. No. 10 Duke
vs. No. 12 Kentucky
L, 5-2 @ No. 18 Arizona State
@ No. 19 Texas A&M
W, 4-3 vs. No. 23 Tennessee
vs. No. 24 Illinois
@ No. 25 Michigan
Who To Watch
Look no further than the Cream and Crimson. When the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its team rankings on Feb. 10, the Hoosiers remained ranked 36th. When the national player rankings came out on Jan. 13, five Indiana womens players were recognized. Seniors Martina Grimm, Karie Schlukebir and Linda Tran, junior Dora Vastag and sophomore Sarah Batty all began the spring season ranked among the best in the nation.
Vastag is ranked 48th in singles. Her overall record this spring improves to 4-2 . She fell to 88th-ranked Frederika Girsang of Western Michigan, 6-1, 6-3, to open the spring. The following weekend, she knocked off 13th-ranked Tammy Encina of Tennessee, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Against Arizona State, she defeated 50th-ranked Joslynn Burkett, 6-4, 6-4. In a hard-fought match against fifth-ranked Amanda Johnson of Duke, she was able to force the match into a third set where she ended up falling, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
Tran is ranked 82nd in singles but has struggled at times during the spring with a record of 1-4. To open the spring she knocked off Western Michigans Reedhina Parekh, 6-3, 6-3. Against Tennessee, she fell to 87th-ranked Sabita Maharaj, 6-2, 7-5, and fell to 89th-ranked Tory Zawacki of Duke,
6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Schlukebir and Tran are ranked 24th in the nation in doubles. The duo has a record of 4-2 this spring. Against Tennessee, they downed 50th-ranked Encina and Immink, 8-1.
Grimm and Batty are in a tie for 50th in doubles. In the tandems two matches this spring, they fell 9-7 to Maharaj and Robards of Tennessee, against Duke had a 9-8 victory over Zika and Cargill to give Indiana the doubles point.
While as a team Kentucky is ranked 12th, the Wildcats only have one ranked singles players on the team. Aibika Kalsarieva is ranked 23rd with a 6-4 record.
The Wildcats are 7-4 this spring with their four losses at the hands of seventh-ranked Northwestern, ninth-ranked North Carolina, 10th-ranked Duke and 11th-ranked Harvard. Kentuckys seven victories includes a 6-1 win over 15th-ranked Southern California.
Indiana leads the overall series 18-14, but the Hoosiers are on a nine-match skid when facing Kentucky. The last time the Hoosiers picked up a win against the Wildcats was during the 1992-93 season when they defeated Kentucky 6-0.
Last Time Out
The Hoosiers dropped a heart-breaker to 10th-ranked Duke, 6-1. With the loss Indiana moved to 4-2 on the season.
The Hoosiers came out strong by winning the doubles point after capturing two of the three doubles matches. Seniors Karie Schlukebir and Linda Tran defeated Amanda Johnson and Julia Smith 9-7. Senior Martina Grimm and sophomore Sarah Batty battled with Jenny Zika and Kristin Cargill but pulled out the win, 9-8 in a tie-breaker. Grimm and Batty had gone ahead 7-2 before Zika and Cargill won five straight games.
Indiana began singles action dropping the first two matches to finish and forced its four others into a third set. Tran was the only Hoosier to win her first set. Junior Dora Vastag, Batty and Schlukebir all won their second set to forced the match into a third. The Hoosiers ended up falling in all of their singles matches, but had opportunities to clinch victories in all of them.
1) Amanda Johnson (Duke) def. Dora Vastag (IU); 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
2) Tory Zawacki (Duke) def. Linda Tran (IU); 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
3) Jenny Zika (Duke) def. Sarah Batty (IU); 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
4) Julia Smith (Duke) def. Laura McGaffigan (IU); 6-4, 6-1
5) Saras Arasu (Duke) def. Karie Schlukebir (IU); 7-5, 6-7, 6-2
6) Kristin Cargill (Duke) def. Cecile Perton (IU); 6-1, 6-1