June 1, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
IUHoosiers.com takes a trip down memory lane for a glance at many of the season highlights of this year's women's tennis team...
"We had a very rewarding season and realistically could not have done much better," said Head Coach Lin Loring. Four of our eight scholarship players were freshmen and we still almost duplicated the outstanding year we had in 2007. We battled Michigan for second place in the Big Ten, made it to the second round of the NCAA Championships and finished in the top 30 nationally.
"We had over a 3.6 team GPA and won the Herbert Award for the team with the highest GPA. It was a season the team and our alumni can be very proud of, both on and off the court."
FAST OUT OF THE GATES
Indiana opened the 2007-08 campaign by dominating the Deacon Classic with five flight championships, winning three singles draws and both doubles draws. Freshman Charlotte Martin used a 6-3, 6-0 win to take the flight five championship while sophomore Erin Clark recorded a finals win in flight seven. Senior Brianna Williams and freshman Maria Guerreiro both competed in flight six and each advanced to the finals. Instead of playing each other, they swapped semifinals opponents, and both earned wins in the "finals."
Indiana shined in the doubles competition as well, winning both doubles flights. Williams teamed with freshman Katya Zapadalova to go 4-0 en route to the flight one title. The tandem of Clark and Guerreiro seized the other flight crown with an 8-4 score in the finals.
A LIL HOME COOKIN'
Three of the six singles draws at the Hoosier Classic were won by IU student-athletes. Junior Alba Berdala captured the Flight A crown with a 7-6(2), 6-2 win over Georgia's Naoko Ueshima while fellow junior Sigrid Fischer cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Noriko Saruta (Western Michigan) in the Flight C finals. The third member of the junior class, Stephanie Heller, finished off the championship trifecta with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the Flight F finals over Kelcie Klockenga from Iowa.
Williams also reached the finals of her flight, but dropped a tight one, 6-7(5), 4-6 to Adrienne Elsberry (Georgia). Martin won her third-place match versus Merel Beelan from Iowa, 6-4, 6-4.
AT THE JUNE STEWART INVITATIONAL
After a two-week break in competition, IU headed south to Wake Forest University for the June Stewart Invitational. Guerreiro and Heller each won all three of their singles matches in the round-robin draws that weekend. Indiana was able to experiment with numerous doubles combinations in Winston-Salem, putting nine different doubles teams into competition.
MORE DOUBLES SUCCESS AT THE WMU SUPER CHALLENGE
The Western Michigan Super Challenge was another opportunity for Indiana to find out which doubles combinations will work best for the spring dual match season. Also, a pair of Hoosiers grabbed victories in their first two singles matches to reach flight championships. Berdala downed No. 93 Dunja Antunovic from DePaul, 6-2, 7-5 in her semifinal match while sophomore Lindsey Stuckey seized a 7-6(0), 6-3 win over Western Michigan's Noriko Saruta to reach the finals of her flight.
IU DOUBLES INVITE DOMINATION
The Hoosiers began the spring season by taking 16 of 20 matches at the IU Doubles Invitational. The tandem of Stuckey and Fischer led the way with a perfect 5-0 showing. Berdala/Zapadalova and Guerreiro/Williams each won four of their five matches.
LORING WINS 700th CAREER MATCH
Head Coach Lin Loring began the 2008 dual match season with a bang by surpassing a large milestone on Jan. 20, earning the 700th coaching win of his career. Loring sits atop the NCAA wins column as the first Division I women's tennis coach to win 700 matches, and the majority of those wins (658) came with the Hoosiers as he completed 31st season at the helm.
Win number 699 came in the first dual match of the season for the Hoosiers, a 6-1 win over Western Michigan in the morning. IU then grabbed Coach Loring the milestone win by defeating another MAC foe in the afternoon match, downing Miami (OH) by a score of 6-1 as well.
The Hoosiers then spent the next month competed in non-conference dual matches, racking up seven victories and just three losses in that stretch. On Feb. 2, Indiana took down #26 Kentucky in a thrilling 4-3 outcome inside the IU Tennis Center. Indiana competed in a pair of road out of conference duals as well amidst the Big Ten schedule, splitting matches at Maryland and Notre Dame.
BIG TEN SEASON
Indiana showcased their ability to pull off the win in a tight situation during the Big Ten slate. The Hoosiers went 4-for-4 in 4-3 conference matches. An 8-2 record earned IU the No. 3 seed for the Big Ten Tournament where they swept Wisconsin in the opening round before dropping a 4-2 decision to Michigan.
The Hoosiers drew the Louisville Cardinals in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and seized a 4-3 win to move on. In fitting fashion, the match came down to IU's senior captain Brianna Williams who won her third set for the match-clinching fourth team point. Indiana then took on the nation's top-ranked squad in the second round, falling to the Northwestern Wildcats.
The freshman class contributed immediately this season as Indiana's starting line-up consistently had three first-year players in it. Martin went 18-9 in singles playing mainly at No. 3, but as high as No. 1. Against Northwestern, the England native posted IU's biggest singles win of the season, downing #25 Sam Murray in a third-set tiebreaker.
Zapadalova was also one of IU's top players, filling the second singles and a first doubles position in all 24 dual matches she played. Myriam Sopel started every match, recording a 7-1 singles mark and incredible 22-4 doubles showing.
SPEAKING OF SOPEL'S DOUBLES PLAY...
Sopel garnerd an overall doubles record of 35-10, 8-2 in the conference on the year. From Jan. 27 through April 5 she strung together 16-consecutive doubles victories, pairing up with three different partners during that stretch.
WILLIAMS CAPS OFF CAREER IN A BIG WAY
Senior captain Brianna Williams did exactly what one would expect from the team's lone senior ... win. She compiled 72 total wins in her final campaign the donning the Cream and Crimson. In singles competition, Williams went 33-8 overall and 8-2 in conference play. She also earned the `W' in 39 of her 50 doubles contests.
Williams reached a significant milestone when she teamed with Katya Zapadalova to beat Michigan's State's Whitney Wilson and Christine Bader on March 28, marking the 100th doubles victory of her career. She finished with a career total of 105 doubles triumphs.
"I truly enjoyed my last year playing on the tennis team," said Williams. It is always nice to work with dedicated coaches and teammates that always give their all. I think we did a very good job, and were able to accomplish a lot as a team. I have some great memories from this past season that I will never forget."
BERDALA DOWNS RANKED FOES
Berdala earned her second win over a nationally-ranked opponent during the Kentucky match. She defeated No. 69 Sarah Woestmann by a score of 7-5, 6-2. In the fall, No. 99 Dunja Antunovic of DePaul fell victim to Berdala, 6-2, 7-5.