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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Women's team plays better in pairs

Hoosier women ride on strength of strong doubles play, depth

With the women's tennis team heading toward the end of regular season play, it is hard not to see the biggest strength of the team.\nIn fact, you would be seeing double.\nIU's doubles play has become the backbone of the squad. The three doubles combinations have come on strong, winning the last 11 points, the last loss coming March 11 against Illinois.\n"We finally settled on a combination of three that play well together," coach Lin Loring said. "They get along together off the court, and complement each other's play on the court. It's kind of a tradition that IU has always had good doubles teams."\nAlthough the team has been successful, falling only twice in its last 11 matches, IU seems to be more suited to doubles. Loring said she attributed this to different styles of play.\n"In doubles there is more strategy involved," Loring said. "You can do a few things that you can't do in singles. It's easier to hide your weaknesses as a player and play to your strengths."\nHighlighting IU's surge is the No. 3 combination of senior Jennifer Hsia and junior Amanda Field. The duo has an 18-4 record and has won its last nine matches. Its record includes a 12-3 spring season record and a 5-0 Big Ten record.\nHsia and Field said they attribute their success to several things.\n"It's a combination of many things," Hsia said. "We are really good at communicating and knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses."\nField said they have distinct roles on the court.\n"I think Jen and I really complement each other," Field said. "I am more of the steady base line hitter, and she finishes off points at the net."\nThe highlight of IU's doubles play came when the Hoosiers took the doubles point from No. 7 Notre Dame April 3, marking the first time in three years IU won the doubles point from a team ranked in the top 10. In addition to Field and Hsia's victory at the No. 3 position, junior Karie Schlukebir and freshman Linda Tran were victorious at the No. 2 position.\nAlthough the doubles matches only combine for one point, the players and coach emphasize the importance of getting that win.\n"It gives you a lot of momentum going into the singles play," Loring said. "We have split the singles matches with a lot of teams this year, and that doubles point has turned out to be the deciding factor."\nThe players say there is a psychological edge for the doubles winner.\n"Winning the doubles point gives you a great mental advantage, especially if the match is close," Hsia said. "You get really pumped up for singles after a big doubles win."\nField said she agreed.\n"Winning the doubles point is a really big advantage," Field said. "Going into the singles, you are already up, and don't have to fight from behind. When you lose doubles, you feel a lot more pressure"

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