April 3, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The #27 Indiana University women's tennis team (15-4, 4-0 Big Ten) packs their bags for a pair of road Big Ten matches over the weekend. IU will begin the trip Saturday in Madision for a showdown with the Badgers of Wisconsin (7-10, 0-5) before taking on the top-ranked team in the country, #1 Northwestern (17-1, 5-0) on Sunday.
"Wisconsin is having a down year," said Head Coach Lin Loring. "This is a match we should win and need to win. They have played good teams close, so we need to be ready and not look ahead to Sunday and our match with Northwestern. That being said, we are very excited to get a chance to play Northwestern, the number one team in the country. It is great for our conference to have the number one team. However, depending on what happens in Madison, we may choose to sit some players. We have four crucial matches after this weekend that will weigh heavily in the NCAA selection process and we need to get healthy."
Complete Match Notes
Indiana defeated Wisconsin 7-0 in the Big Ten opener last season, but fell twice to Northwestern. The Cream and Crimson suffered a 5-2 defeat to the Wildcats in the regular season and 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
BIG TIME PLAY IN THE BIG TEN
The Hoosiers currently sit next to #1 Northwestern atop the Big Ten standings with a 4-0 record. Senior captain Brianna Williams leads the way, posting a 4-0 individual mark in conference play. Junior Alba Berdala has also raised her level of play during against Big Ten competition, winning three of four matches while taking on the conference's elite in the No. 1 singles position. Freshman Myriam Sopel has provided three team points as well, coming out on top in each of her three Big Ten singles matches.
Freshman Myriam Sopel has not suffered a doubles defeat since January 27, stringing together 15 consecutive victories since that date. With three different partners, Sopel owns a 17-1 doubles record during the dual match season. Junior Sigrid Fischer has ripped off seven straight doubles wins.
As a team, Indiana has excelled in the doubles competition all year long. Following a dominating performance in the IU Doubles Invitational to begin the spring season, the Hoosiers have notched the doubles point in 15 of 19 dual matches.
WILLIAMS HITS THE CENTURY MARK
Senior captain Brianna Williams reached a significant milestone when she teamed with Katya Zapadalova to beat Michigan's State's Whitney Wilson and Christine Bader on March 28, marking the 100th doubles victory of her career. She has already blown past her previous season-best win totals in both singles and doubles this season, piling up 26 singles W's and a whopping 34 doubles wins in her final year donning the Cream and Crimson.
The freshman class has contributed immediately this season as Indiana's starting line-up consistently has three first-year players in it. Charlotte Martin has gone 14-5 in singles playing mainly at No. 3, but as high as No. 1. Katya Zapadalova is also one of IU's top players, filling the second singles and a first doubles position in all 16 dual matches she's played.
Myriam Sopel has started every match thus far, recording a 7-1 singles mark and incredible 17-1 doubles showing.
DEPTH IS KEY
The Hoosiers' have good team depth and it is showcased by the records posted from the No. 4-No. 6 singles positions thus far. Combined, the final three singles slots are 45-12 (78.9%) on the year.