Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana womens team got a boost with senior Karie Schlukebir returning to the lineup and used to its advantage with a 5-2 victory over Michigan State. The win snapped a four-match losing streak and mark the first Big Ten win of the season for the Hoosiers. IU is now 9-11 on the season and 1-4 in Big Ten play.
This is the only Big Ten match that on paper is a toss up for us, so we were pleased to get this win, Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. The rest of the Big Ten matches we will be underdogs. This match was very close and could have gone either way. The key was probably No. 1 doubles coming back from being down 6-3 and winning 8-6. That was crucial because that gave us the mental edge in the singles.
Schlukebir returned to the Hoosier lineup for the first time since February 16 against Northwestern. She teamed with junior Linda Tran and downed Karen Gustafson and Kate Thomas, 8-1, at No. 2 doubles. The Hoosier duo was able to break the Michigan State pair on every serve on its way to victory. The win upped the pairs mark to 14-5 on the year and 2-1 in Big Ten play.
Indianas No. 1 doubles team of junior Martina Grimm and freshman Sarah Batty battled back from a 6-3 hole to clinch the doubles point. Grimm and Batty responded by winning the final five points to claim an 8-6 win. The duo is now 17-10 on the year and 2-3 in the Big Ten.
Schlukebir didnt stop at doubles as she was the first Hoosier off the court in claiming a victory at No. 5 singles. She downed Josie Schmude in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Schlukebir is now 14-5 on the year and 2-1 in singles play.
It was great having Karie back, Loring said. She made the difference. She won a big singles match for us and a big doubles match for us. We are easily one to two points better when Karie is in the lineup.
Her doubles partner Tran was next off for the Hoosier as she downed Caroline Lay at No. 1 singles. Tran downed Lay, 6-4, 6-2. The win upped her mark to 12-13 on the season and 2-3 in the conference.
Grimm was next for the Hoosiers as she clinched the match with a straight sets win at No. 3 singles. Grimm easily won the first set 6-3 and jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second. Michigan States Karen Gustafson rallied back to tied the second set at five. Grimm would not be out done though as she won the last two points in claiming the victory. She picked up her 22nd win on the season and improved to 3-2 in Big Ten play. Grimm has won 22 matches in each of her first three seasons at Indiana.
Freshman Sophie Rychlik capped the Hoosier win with a three set victory at the No. 6 position. Rychlik picked up her third victory of the season. She won the first set 6-4 before Michigan States Marta Walasek won the second 7-6. Rychlik went on to win the super tiebreaker third set, 11-9.
The Hoosiers will be back in action tomorrow morning when they battle No. 38 Michigan. The match carries a 10:00 a.m. start time and will be held at the Varsity Tennis Courts, weather permitting. If weather does not permit outdoor play, the match will be held at the Indiana Tennis Center.