Bloomington, Ind. The No. 25 Indiana womens tennis team captured its seventh-straight Big Ten win on Saturday, April 24, when the Hoosiers snapped No. 16 Illinois 11-match winning streak, 4-3. Indiana improves to 16-6 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten, while Illinois finishes the regular season at 17-4, 8-2 in the Big Ten.
That was an unbelievable win for us, Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. This team continues to amaze me.
Indiana came out ready to win, and win was exactly what they did. The Hoosiers took the doubles point by capturing wins at all three spots. At No. 2, junior Dora Vastag and freshman Laura McGaffigan went down early 5-2 to Tiffany Eklov and Isabel Jarosz. The duo split the next two games to make the score 6-3, before the pair went on to win the next five games and hand Illinois its first loss of the day.
Seconds later, Indiana captured the doubles point as seniors Karie Schlukebir and Martina Grimm, playing at the No. 3 spot, put away Eva Choe and Emily Wang, 8-4. With the score even at 4, Schlukebir and Grimm were able to make a run by winning four-straight games to keep the duo undefeated in Big Ten action, with a 5-0 record.
The highlight of doubles action came in a match at the No. 1 spot. With the doubles point already decided, senior Linda Tran and sophomore Sarah Batty, were not going to give in easy to the No. 15 ranked team of Jennifer McGaffigan and Cynthya Goulet. After falling behind 4-0, Tran and Batty won four of the next five games to put the score at 5-4, Illinois. The Illini would win two of the next three games to give them the lead 7-5. However, Indiana would win the next two games and force the match into a tiebreaker, in which Indiana would come away victorious. No. 33 Tran and Batty knocked off No. 15 McGaffigan and Goulet, 8-7 (2), to give the Hoosiers the momentum into singles play.
The doubles point won the match for us, Loring said. We came back from being down 4-0 at No. 1 and 5-2 at No. 2. I am really proud of our effort today.
The bottom three spots in the Indiana singles lineup propelled the Hoosiers over the Illini. At No. 6, freshman Cecile Perton made quick work of Emily Wang, 6-1, 6-0, to give Indiana the first singles point of the match. Illinois would then tie the match at 2-2, with wins at the No. 2 and 3 position.
At No. 5, after dropping the first set, 6-4, Schlukebir turned up her game to win the next two sets, 6-1, 6-2, and give the Hoosiers the 3-2 advantage.
The No. 4 spot between L. McGaffigan and Jarosz ended up as the deciding match for Indiana. After winning the first set 6-3, L. McGaffigan would drop the second set 3-6 to Jarosz. The third set was a seesaw, as neither opponent would allow the other to have an advantage greater than one game. McGaffigan was able to pull ahead at 5-4, and go on to capture the set 6-4, and give the Hoosiers the upset over No. 16 Illinois.
With the win today, Indiana will be playing for a share of the regular season Big Ten title with Northwestern tomorrow, when the Hoosiers face No. 61 Purdue at 10 a.m. at the Varsity Tennis Courts. Indiana seniors Martina Grimm, Karie Schlukebir and Linda Tran will be recognized in what is senior day and Hoosier spirit day.
Sarah Batty/Linda Tran def. Jennifer McGaffigan/Cynthya Goulet (UI); 8-7 (2)
Dora Vastag/Laura McGaffigan def. Tiffany Eklov/Isabel Jarosz (IU); 8-6
Karie Schlukebir/Martina Grimm def. Eva Choe/Emily Wang (UI); 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
Jennifer McGaffigan (UI) def. Dora Vastag; 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (4)
Tiffany Eklov (UI) def. Linda Tran; 6-3, 6-4
Cynthya Goulet (UI) def. Sarah Batty; 6-3, 6-1
Laura McGaffigan def. Isabel Jarosz (UI); 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Karie Schlukebir def. Eva Choe (UI); 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
Cecile Perton def. Emily Wang (UI); 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 3, 2, 5, 4, 6