Indiana women's tennis played a two-match home series Saturday against the University of Cincinnati and Eastern Illinois University at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers split the two matches, losing to Cincinnati 4-3 and defeating Eastern Illinois in a shutout 7-0 win.
These were the third and fourth matches in a row the Hoosiers have played in Bloomington and the final ones before the start of Big Ten conference play. They took on the Bearcats in the morning for the first game of the doubleheader.
The back-and-forth match started with a loss for Indiana after sophomore Laura Masic dropped the first singles match to Cincinnati freshman Elizabeth Pendergast 6-1, 6-4. Indiana followed the slow start with wins in its next two matches to shift the momentum in its favor.
Cincinnati responded to its losses as well, though, taking the next two of three matches for a total of three wins in the singles matches.
The Hoosiers tried to mount a comeback in the doubles matches, but the duo of Bearcat seniors Ioana Guna and Emma Miceli secured a 6-4 win over the Hoosier pairing of junior Mila Mejic and junior Alexandra Staiculescu, while junior Maria Santilli and sophomore Sofia Bruno came out on top over Indiana sophomore Sayda Hernandez and junior Lexi Kubas in the final doubles match 6-1. The doubles wins by the Bearcats gave them a 4-3 win over the Hoosiers to push Indiana’s home losing streak to two matches.
Shortly after the team’s opening loss, Indiana regrouped and got ready to play against Eastern Illinois at 4:30 p.m.
Indiana started its second match with successful performances in the singles competitions and didn't look back. Two dominant singles wins by Masic and redshirt freshman Lara Schneider, each of whom won their sets by three or more points, gave the Hoosiers a comfortable lead.
The Hoosiers didn’t stop there, winning every single match of the day in the singles and doubles for a 7-0 sweep. The meeting against Eastern Illinois was decided in the fourth singles match as Mejic secured a 6-1, 6-2, win over sophomore Brittany Steven to give the Hoosiers the clinching point.
Indiana's record moved to 7-5 on the season following Saturday’s results. The team won’t be at home until March 26 and will play three consecutive away matches before then.
Indiana will travel to Michigan for its first two conference games on March 12-13. The team will play Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the first day then travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to play Michigan State the following day.