Los Angeles, Calif. - The 21st-ranked Indiana womens tennis team lost a heartbreaking 4-2 decision to the 41st-ranked Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA Regionals. IU finishes the season at 17-8.
It was a great match, head coach Lin Loring said. We did a great job of winning the doubles point, and the difference in the match were the two tiebreakers at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles positions. We were overpowered at the top, which we knew we would be. Overall, I was pleased with the way our doubles teams played, and the match could have gone the other way had things been different in the tiebreakers.
The Hoosiers started the day by winning the doubles point for the 17th time this season. Indiana's No. 2 doubles tandem of junior Dora Vastag and freshman Laura McGaffigan downed Debbie Larocque and Kasia Jakowlew, 8-4.
The Hoosiers No. 3 duo of seniors Martina Grimm and Karie Schlukebir finished off the point with an 8-4 win over Kelly Perry and Jessie Rochefort.
The Wildcats would not go away quietly as they claimed wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles to give Arizona an early 2-1 lead. In the No. 1 match, 11th-ranked Dianne Hollands of Arizona downed Vastag, 6-0, 6-1. At No. 2, Maja Mlakar beat senior Linda Tran, 6-0, 6-2.
Indiana evened the score when Cecile Perton won at No. 6 singles. The freshman sensation downed Iza Ferreira, 6-3, 6-1. With the win, Perton got her 20th win of the season, and now sits at 20-12 on the year.
Arizona reclaimed the advantage by taking the point at the No. 5 position. Rochefort beat Schlukebir, 6-3, 6-3.
Despite Arizonas 3-2 lead, the match was far from over as the two remaining matches entered a third set. Eventually, Larocques dominating performance in the third set gave Arizona it match-clinching point as she defeated McGaffigan, 3-6, 7-6 6-2.
Sophomore Sarah Battys match was suspended with Arizona clinching the victory. At the time the match was called, Batty had the advantage over Perry, 6-7, 6-3, 6-5.
The loss marked the end of the Hoosiers season. The match was the 21st time in the last 26 years that Indiana had advanced to the National Championship Tournament. Indianas No. 1 doubles team of senior Linda Tran and sophomore Sarah Batty will return to action in the NCAA Doubles Championships in Athens, Ga. on Tuesday, May 24. The tandem will be one of top 32 teams in the nation to take part in the tournament.