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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

IU women’s tennis avenges Saturday loss with comeback win

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Sophomore Jelly Bozovic went cross court for her final shot to make her opponent stretch for a difficult forehand. Bozovic watcher her opponent's ball fly over her head before it landed a few feet wide. 

The point captured a third-set win at No. 4 singles for the sophomore, but more importantly a team victory for the IU women’s tennis team over DePaul University. 

The 4-3 win Sunday came a day after IU fell at the hands of No. 49 Princeton University. That loss pushed the Hoosiers’ losing streak to three consecutive matches.

“I think we got over that hump of our losing streak and now we’re going to be better off,” Bozovic said after Sunday’s win. “Everyone is more confident with their game now.”

IU kicked off its weekend at home with a match against Princeton at 11 a.m. Saturday. Despite having two match points to lock up the doubles point, the Hoosiers conceded No. 1 and 2 doubles to the Tigers, giving them the early one-point lead.

IU showed life with straight-set wins at singles from senior Madison Appel and sophomore Michelle McKamey, but Princeton was too much to handle as it won the other four singles matches. Senior Natalie Whalen’s 6-1 loss in her third set at No. 2 singles clinched the win 5-2 win for Princeton. 

The match between IU and Princeton was a lot more competitive than the final score indicated, but IU Head Coach Ramiro Azcui remained optimistic after the loss. 

“I feel like we let it slip out of our hands,” Azcui said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way, but it was a good match, and I think we’re a good team, and it’s going to show later on.”

The next day IU challenged a struggling DePaul squad on its home court. The Blue Demons stood at 4-6 entering the match but were able to use momentum against the Hoosiers from their 7-0 win Friday at Northern Illinois University.

IU blew by DePaul to claim the doubles point with 6-0 wins at No. 1 and 2 doubles, but Azcui’s squad was given a run for its money in singles. 

The Blue Demons picked up quick wins at No. 3 and No. 6 singles over junior Caitlin Bernard and freshman Somer Henry, respectively. Trailing 2-1, the Hoosiers had their work cut out for them.

It took wins from Whalen and McKamey for the Hoosiers to take a 3-2 lead, but Appel was defeated at No. 1 singles to bring the match to a 3-3 tie. 

The packed home crowd moved itself and its attention to the other side of the IU Tennis Center where the match between the Hoosiers and Blue Demons would be decided. Bozovic extended her third-set lead to 5-2 and then closed it out in front of all the IU fans.

“We had a really big turnout today and obviously we’re going to use that to our advantage whenever we can,” Bozovic said. “The momentum was in our favor today, and I think that helped us get the win.”

The sophomore focused in on her back-and-forth match while the Hoosiers and Blue Demons exchanged ties and lead changes. 

“I knew it was coming down to one of these last few courts, and I just needed to focus on my match and make sure I won,” Bozovic said. “I just played my game and it worked out in the end.”

Azcui said throughout the week he was looking for some form of momentum for the team to be able to ride on in the coming weeks with conference play approaching. Sunday’s win over DePaul gave him exactly what he wanted. 

“Even yesterday I feel like we had some momentum going our way despite the loss,” Azcui said. “We just have to keep believing in ourselves. We’re excited about the opportunity to keep getting better each week.”

The Hoosiers moved their record to 7-5 overall. IU plays a pair of matches Mar. 2, a 10:30 a.m. contest with Cornell University and a 6:00 p.m. match against Miami University. 

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