Indiana Daily Student

Indiana women’s tennis begins Big Ten schedule, splits weekend matches against Iowa, Nebraska

<p>Junior Alexandra Staiculescu prepares to serve in her singles match against Nebraska on March 27, 2022, at the IU Recreational Sports Tennis Center. Indiana faced the No. 51 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Sunday.</p>

Junior Alexandra Staiculescu prepares to serve in her singles match against Nebraska on March 27, 2022, at the IU Recreational Sports Tennis Center. Indiana faced the No. 51 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Sunday.

Indiana women's tennis played two matches this weekend against Big Ten opponents at the IU Tennis Center in Bloomington. The Hoosiers faced off against Iowa on Saturday and No. 51 Nebraska on Sunday to begin the all-Big Ten portion of its schedule. 

The team’s first match against Iowa resulted in a close 4-3 win, but Indiana couldn’t carry that momentum over and lost to Nebraska in another tight 4-3 match the following day. 

The match against the Hawkeyes quickly picked up pace as both teams fought for the doubles match point, with Indiana winning the first match and Iowa evening the score at the No. 3 position. In the deciding tiebreaker match, Indiana juniors Alexandra Staiculescu and Mila Meijic were able to secure the doubles point for their team after defeating the Iowa pair of senior Samantha Gillas and freshman Marisa Schmidt 6-3. 

Iowa responded to its early deficit by securing two points through three wins in the ensuing singles matches, but Indiana junior Rose Hu stopped the comeback by defeating Gillas 7-6, 6-3. Saturday’s win marks the Hoosiers’ first against a Big Ten opponent this season after starting 0-2 with losses to both Michigan and Michigan State earlier in the year. 

Related: [Indiana women's tennis falls 5-2 to nonconference opponent College of Charleston]

The Hoosiers faced a much tougher opponent the next day, welcoming the ranked Cornhuskers to conclude the weekend. The Cornhuskers came into Sunday’s match after playing four straight ranked opponents, going 2-2 in that span. 

Indiana opened up the second contest by winning the first doubles match 6-2 thanks to the efforts of Staiculescu and Mejic, but Nebraska came back to win the remaining two doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. 

Despite facing an early deficit, Indiana picked up three singles match wins to put itself in position to pull off the upset. Redshirt freshman Lara Schneider, Mejic and Hu all won their singles matches, with Schneider and Mejic taking their matches to a third set before pulling through for wins. The Hoosiers split their six singles matches 3-3, but the doubles point proved crucial for the Cornhuskers as they held on for the 4-3 victory.

After the weekend’s results, Indiana’s overall record moved to 8-9. The Hoosiers have only played four Big Ten opponents so far and hold a 1-3 record in conference play. 

The rest of the season will bring a demanding Big Ten schedule, and Indiana will get ready to face its two next opponents, Purdue and Penn State, in another pair of home matches. The Hoosiers will first play Purdue on April 2 and then turn towards Penn State on April 8.

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