Bloomington, Ind. -After a tough loss yesterday to Iowa, the injury-plagued Indiana women's tennis team dropped a 7-0 decision to No. 27 Minnesota. The Hoosiers fell to 9-14 overall and 1-7 in the Big Ten.
"This is very similar to last year," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. "We have shown that we can go with anyone in the doubles. (Minnesota) is tied for first in the Big Ten and we dominated at No. 1 and almost won at No. 2. In doubles, we can cover up our injuries. Our downfall the last two years has been the singles because you just can't cover up your injuries in the singles. We lost, but I am very optimistic about next year when we have everyone back. We really have made some improvement this year, but it is hard to see with everyone playing so far out of position."
Indiana once again showed it could contend with anyone in the Big Ten in doubles as they pushed the Gophers to the limit. With everything tied at one, Minnesota's Angela Buergis and Nischela Reddy were able to edge out junior Martina Grimm and freshman Sarah Batty, 9-7, at the No. 2 position to clinch the point.
The Hoosiers got a decisive win at the No. 1 doubles position. Karie Schlukebir and junior Linda Tran continued their roll in extending their winning streak to four. The Hoosier tandem downed Amy Thomas and Valerie Vladea, 8-4. The win upped the IU duo's mark to 17-5 on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten. It also marked Tran's 90th career doubles victory and Schlukebir's 88th.
Tran was forced to sit out the singles after she aggravated an ankle sprain that occurred during his singles match yesterday. The Hoosiers had to move everyone in their lineup up one position in singles.
Batty filled in nicely at the No. 1 spot despite a three set loss to Angela Buergis. After dropping the first set 6-2, Batty came back to force a third set super tiebreaker by winning the second set 6-1. Buergis proved to be too much in the end as she won the super tiebreaker 10-7. The loss dropped Batty's record to 18-18 this season.
"We did pull Linda out of the singles, but Sarah had a really good match at No. 1," Loring said. "(Minnesota's No. 1 singles player) has only lost once in the Big Ten so far. That was a great match for a freshman playing at No. 1 and losing in a match tiebreaker."
Grimm jumped out to a one set advantage winning the first, 7-6, over Valerie Vladea at No. 2. After the team match's outcome was already decided, Grimm retired downed 3-2 in the second due to injury. With two matches next weekend, the Hoosiers decided it was best if Grimm didn't go on as to prevent aggravation or further injury. Grimm is now 23-14 on the season for the Hoosiers.
"The girl Martina played was their No. 1 last year," Loring said. "Martina won the first set and had to default. She lost to this team at No. 6 last year, so that just shows how much improvement Martina has made."
The Hoosiers will be back in action next weekend when they travel to No. 22 Illinois and No. 56 Purdue. Indiana will take on Illinois on Saturday, April 19, before heading to West Lafayette to take on Purdue on Sunday, April 20. Both matches will carry a 10:00 a.m. start time.
No. 27 Minnesota 7, Indiana 0
Singles 1) Angela Buergis (UM) def. Sarah Batty (IU) 6-2, 1-6, 1-0 (7)
2) Valerie Vladea (UM) def. Martina Grimm (IU) 6-7, 3-2, retire
3) Amy Thomas (UM) def. Dominika Walterova (IU) 6-2, 6-2
4) Michaela Havelkova (UM) def. Karie Schlukebir (IU) 6-2, 6-2
5) Nischela Reddy (UM) def. Sophie Rychlik (IU) 6-1, 6-2
6) Brandi Watts (UM) def. Jessica Groth (IU) 6-0, 6-3 Doubles 1) Schlukebir/Tran (IU) def. Thomas/Vladea (UM) 8-4
2) Buergis/Reddy (UM) def. Batty/Grimm (IU) 9-7
3) Havelkova/Watts (UM) def. Groth/Rychlik (IU) 8-1