Women's Tennis Fall Season In Review
Nov. 9, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University women's tennis team ended their fall season last weekend at the Western Michigan Super Challenge, the fourth and final tournament for the Hoosiers until the spring season.
Overall, the Hoosiers posted a 71-38 (.651) singles record and won two-thirds of their doubles matches with a 48-24 (.667) doubles mark during the fall season. The Cream and Crimson captured six singles flight titles along with two doubles flight victories.
"With four freshmen we needed to play a lot tennis this fall, and we did," said Head Coach Lin Loring. "Unfortunately two of the freshmen, Katya (Zapadalova) and Maria (Guerreiro), missed some playing time because of injuries. But for the most part we were able to accomplish our goals for the fall."
Junior Alba Berdala went 8-4 in singles play and captured the top singles flight championship at the Hoosier Classic. Junior Sigrid Fischer and Freshman Charlotte Martin each went 8-4 as well. Fischer took home a flight championship at the Hoosier Classic while Martin won her flight at the Deacon Classic.
Senior Brianna Williams (9-3) and Junior Stephanie Heller (9-2) led the Hoosiers with nine singles wins apiece. Williams, the lone senior, arose victorious 24 times overall in the fall after racking up 15 doubles wins (15-2) as well. Most impressive, was the 7-1 showing she had when paired with Freshman Katya Zapadalova. Freshman Maria Guerreiro won 12 of her 14 doubles matches, including a 5-1 mark when playing with Williams.
"In singles it became apparent that we will have several players competing for the last couple singles positions," said Loring. "Freshmen Charlotte Martin and Katya Zapadalova both showed they can play at this level and should be starters somewhere in the singles line-up. Our other two freshman, Myriam Sopel and Maria Guerreiro, are both certainly capable of being in the singles and/or doubles line-up on opening day."
Heller and Freshman Myriam Sopel tallied 10 or more doubles triumphs as well. Heller went 11-5 and Sopel came away with a 12-4 record while the tandem partnered up for six wins in seven matches as cohorts.
"I feel like the fall season went really well for our team," said Heller. "We got a lot of good match play, which is really what the fall season is all about. We should all go into the spring season `match tough,' and ready to compete at a high level."
Indiana opened the 2007-08 campaign by dominating the Deacon Classic with five flight championships, winning three singles draws and both doubles draws. 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. Williams and 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, winning both doubles flights. Williams teamed with 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.
The Hoosiers then returned to Bloomington to host the Hoosier Classic. Three of the six singles draws were won by IU student-athletes. Berdala captured the Flight A crown with a 7-6(2), 6-2 win over Georgia's Naoko Ueshima while Fischer cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Noriko Saruta (Western Michigan) in the Flight C finals. 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.
After a two-week break in competition, IU headed south to Wake Forest University for the June Stewart Invitataional. 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.
"One of our goals was to make sure we tried as many realistic doubles combinations as possible," said Loring. "We were able to switch partners and receiving sides in all the tournaments we played. Our doubles combinations are not set yet, but we have a really good idea of who is capable of playing in our line-up and where they can play."
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.
"Our team had a very successful fall season," said Williams. "We competed our best in challenging matches as well as got to learn more about each other on and off the court."
The Cream and Crimson will begin the spring schedule with a long homestand beginning with the Indiana Doubles Invitational from Jan. 12-13, followed by ten consecutive dual matches held in Bloomington ranging from Jan. 20-Feb. 17th.
"I think winter break will determine who our starters are in January," said Loring. "The players that train, stay in shape and stay `match tough' over break will probably start when we come back in January."
The Hoosiers travel to Ohio State to start the conference slate on Mar. 8, the first of 10 Big Ten dual matches before it comes to a crescendo at the Big Ten championships on Apr. 24-27 at Purdue University.
"Our team will be very tough to beat," said Heller. "We have a very talented team and we are definitely going to be a challenger for the Big Ten title."
"I believe that we have a very strong team this year and I think that we will have a good spring season," said Williams. "Hopefully, we are able to reach the goal of top 20 in the NCAA."
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