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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

IU women’s tennis capitalizes at home in three-match weekend

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In the midst of a dominant weekend at home, resilience was a common theme for the IU women’s tennis team. Any setback on the court meant little to the Hoosiers.

After a 7-0 sweep of Western Michigan University on Saturday morning, IU began its Sunday by dropping the doubles point to Marquette University, a match in which IU came back to win 6-1.

It was IU’s play at singles where it capitalized most this weekend. The Hoosiers went 18-0 in singles, dropping three sets in total.

Junior Caitlin Bernard fell behind early against Marquette, losing 2-6 in the first set of her No. 3 singles match. Bernard remained calm and took the second set 6-3. This forced a 10-point tiebreak for the third set which the junior won 10-5. 

Sophomore Jelly Bozovic took the first 6-1 against the Golden Eagles and then battled for a lengthy second set. Ultimately, Bozovic powered through for a 7-5 win that clinched the team win for the Hoosiers.

With dropping the doubles point looming large, taking the match-winning point had the sophomore feeling refreshed, she said.

“We tried our best, but it obviously didn’t go as planned,” Bozovic said about IU losing the doubles point to Marquette. “We started on fire and then we kept that intensity and that eventually helped us win.”

Against Western Michigan, Bernard and Bozovic each dropped their second set at singles after winning the first. They both fought through to win 10-5 in their respective tiebreaks. 

For IU Head Coach Ramiro Azcui, Saturday’s match against Western Michigan was an emotional one: his daughter, Denise, is a senior for the Broncos. 

“This year it was emotional because this is where she has learned to play tennis,” Azcui said. “It’s hard for my players, it’s hard for my family, but overall I’m just happy. She’s in a good place and she’s competing really well.”

Denise Azcui played at No. 2 singles for Western Michigan and gave trouble to IU senior Natalie Whalen. After cruising in the first set, Whalen prevailed in a seven-point tiebreak for the second set to win the match. 

To close out the team’s weekend, IU squared off against Butler University to try to complete the weekend sweep. 

6-1 wins from No. 1 and 2 doubles gave the Hoosiers the early doubles point. Strong play at singles led to a team win for IU, pushing its winning streak to four in a row. 

“They responded to the challenge and we were very happy with it,” Azcui said about the team’s first three-match weekend. “We’re going to give them some rest early in the week but then we have to get going again.”

As for IU’s No. 1 singles player, senior Madison Appel, she returned from a sickness this weekend to pick up her first three individual wins of the regular season. Throughout the three matches, Appel swept her singles competition in straight sets, allowing seven total games. 

Appel was paired with Bozovic for doubles, where the duo lost to Marquette but edged out Western Michigan and Butler. As a sophomore, Bozovic is able to learn from her senior doubles partner while they share half the court. 

“Madison’s mental game is killer,” Bozovic said. “She’s so calm on the court, I can’t understand it. Whenever I make mistakes or things aren’t going as planned, she’ll always get me back to reality and focused on the match.”

Next weekend the Hoosiers have a similar slate at home with one Saturday match and two Sunday matches. 

The Sunday morning match is against University of Notre Dame, who IU lost to on the road last season with a match point going in its favor. The other two matches are against James Madison University and Saint Louis University, two schools IU has never faced on the tennis courts. 

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