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IU women’s tennis splits final road matches of regular season



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Then-sophomores Caitlin Bernard and Natalie Whalen celebrate after defeating their opponents in a doubles match Feb. 18, 2017. IU lost to Ohio State on Sunday, 6-1. IDS file photo Buy Photos

The IU women’s tennis team has dominated on its home courts this season, but it’s a different story on the road.

The Hoosiers are 11-4 at the IU Tennis Center but have managed to pick up just three wins on nine attempts on the road this season.

To conclude a five-match streak on the road and its entire slate of road matches in 2019, IU picked up a win at Penn State on Friday before falling at No. 21 Ohio State on Sunday.

The Hoosiers kicked off their match against the Nittany Lions by claiming the doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead. Senior Madison Appel and sophomore Jelly Bozovic handled Penn State’s No. 1 doubles team while senior Natalie Whalen and junior Caitlin Bernard did the same at No. 2.

Penn State struck back with straight-set wins at No. 3 and 5 singles to take a 2-1 lead, its only lead of the day.

Whalen matched Penn State with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles, and Bozovic put IU up 3-2 with a three-set comeback win at No. 4 singles. Appel and sophomore Michelle McKamey also won in straight sets as the Hoosiers earned a hard-fought 5-2 win.

The victory brought IU back to .500 in Big Ten play before it lost to Ohio State 6-1 Sunday.

The Buckeyes have had a remarkable season. Since starting 3-2, Ohio State has gone 16-1 in its last 17 matches. The Buckeyes have not lost on their home courts since Feb. 1.

The lone point registered for IU on Sunday was by Appel at the No. 1 singles spot. She pulled off a dominant 6-3, 6-2 win over Ohio State freshman Isabelle Boulais, the 54th-ranked Division 1 women’s tennis player.

The Hoosiers sit at 4-5 in conference play heading into the final weekend of the regular season. IU stands at seventh overall in the conference standings but has yet to lock up a spot as one of ten teams to compete in the Big Ten Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska, from April 25-28.

IU will play Rutgers at 11 a.m. April 20 and Maryland at 11 a.m. April 21 at the IU Tennis Center to conclude its regular season.

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