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IU women’s tennis conference play continues against Minnesota, Michigan State


Then-junior Madison Appel eyes a forehand during her 4-6, 3-6 singles loss to Ohio State in the 2018 season. Appel plays her final match of her collegiate career at the IU Tennis Center this weekend. Sam House Buy Photos

A productive spring break saw the IU women’s tennis team pick up two wins.

IU earned its first victory over Illinois since 2008 to open its 2019 Big Ten schedule on March 8, and then won at University of Hawaii to close out its nonconference slate.

The Hoosiers’ attention will shift solely to their conference opponents from now through the Big Ten Tournament, which is from April 25-28 in Lincoln, Nebraska. IU’s season continues this weekend with one match at home against Michigan State and another on the road at Minneosta.

“Illinois was a good win, but what’s really going to make us stronger is these matches coming up,” senior Madison Appel said. “If we can maintain that competitiveness, we’ll be happy with how we do in the Big Ten."

This weekend, IU will first head north to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to play Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The Golden Gophers, 9-6, lost five straight matches from Feb. 16 through March 2. Now Minnesota has flipped the narrative and returned to its winning ways. The Golden Gophers wontheir last four matches and can capitalize on the home-court advantage they’ll have Friday over the Hoosiers.

Michigan State, 11-6, is off to its first 2-0 start in Big Ten play since 2015. The Spartans have bested the Hoosiers in their last four consecutive matches, but IU Head Coach Ramiro Azcui said his team is eager to play against more Big Ten opponents like they did against Illinois.

“It would be great to play like we did against Illinois, but it will be a big challenge for us,” Azcui said. “That win gave us confidence, but we’ll have our hands full with both teams.”

Just two days after playing at Minnesota, IU will come back to the IU Tennis Center for a match with Michigan State at 11 a.m. Sunday. After this weekend, the Hoosiers are on the road for five straight matches. The team won’t play at home until April 20 and 21, the final two matches of the regular season.

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