Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana women's tennis team dropped a tight 4-3 match to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon. With three matches, all in the third set, it was all tied at two. The Hawkeyes were able to win the final two matches on the court to clinch the victory. The Hoosiers are now 9-13 on the season and 1-6 in the Big Ten.
"It is disappointing. We weren't favored to win the match, but we definitely put ourselves in a position to win," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. "With the score tied at two, we had three three-setters out there. We won the first one, and we were in position to win the other two. I am pleased that we put ourselves in a position to win. It also maybe the first time this season that we have won all three doubles positions."
Everything was square at two with three matches in third sets at No. 2 singles, No. 4 singles and No. 5 singles. Indiana took a 3-2 lead after Karie Schlukebir picked up a come-from-behind three-set win at No. 5. Schlukebir dropped the first set to Iowa's Deni Alexandova before battling back to win the last two, 6-3, 6-4. The win improved her record to 15-6 on the season and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
Iowa evened things back up at three when Chelsea Glynn downed Dominika Walterova in three sets at No. 4. Walterova won the first set 6-0 before Glynn picked up the final two both in tiebreakers, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
As freshman Sarah Batty's cross-court shot sailed wide trying to break Iowa's Steffi Hoch, so did the Hoosiers chances for victory. After Batty jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third, Hoch roared back to win the final six points and the match. The Hoosier freshman won the first set, 6-3, before Hoch won the last two, 6-4, 6-3.
The Hoosiers claimed an early 1-0 lead by sweeping the doubles. Junior Linda Tran and Schlukebir won 8-5 over Hoch and Gloria Okino at the No. 1 position. The win upped the duo's record to 16-5 on the season and 4-1 in the Big Ten. Both Hoosiers moved up the career doubles victories list with Tran moving into a tie for sixth at 89 wins and Schlukebir moving into eighth by herself with 87 career wins. Tran also moved up into a tie for fourth on the Hoosiers' career Big Ten doubles wins list with her 24th. Schlukebir jumped up into a tie for sixth with her 22nd career Big Ten doubles win.
At No. 2, Batty and junior Martina Grimm picked up their 19th win of the season in doubles. The tandem downed Haas and Alexandova, 8-4. Batty and Grimm are now 4-3 this season in Big Ten doubles. Walterova and freshman Sophie Rychlik made it a clean sweep of the doubles with their win at No. 3. The Hoosier pair downed Hodgman and Glynn, 8-5, to pick up their first win as a team.
Grimm was the only other Hoosier to win in singles as she won in straight sets at the No. 3 spot. The IU junior downed Okino, 6-4, 6-1. The win was her team-leading 23rd of the season. The number is also a career-high for wins in a season eclipsing the 22 wins she had in each of her first two seasons at Indiana. She also picked up her team-leading fourth Big Ten singles victory.
The Hoosiers will return to the court tomorrow when they battle Big Ten leader and No. 27 Minnesota. The Gophers are coming off a 4-3 win over Northwestern that snapped the Wildcats' 29-match Big Ten winning streak. The match is set for 10:00 a.m. at the Varsity Tennis Courts.