Indiana women’s tennis was dominated by Penn State at University Park, Pennsylvania, on Sunday. The Hoosiers had disappointing performances and lost 7-0 to the Nittany Lions.
Including this loss, Indiana has lost its last three games against Penn State and are now 1-3 in the Big Ten this season.
In doubles play, Indiana No. 3 redshirt junior Mila Mejic and graduate student Lauren Lemonds lost 6-1 to Penn State graduate student Ioana Gheorghita and junior Alina Lebedeva.
A tough matchup was expected at No. 1. The Hoosiers’ No. 1 double sophomore Lara Schneider and graduate student Saby Nihalani had a better overall record, 9-3 entering the game, but the Nittany Lions No. 1 junior Sofiya Chekhlystova and graduate student Carla Girbau were undefeated against Big Ten opponents, sitting at 2-0 entering the game. The Hoosiers lost the battle, falling 6-1 and extending their losing streak to two games.
At No. 2, redshirt junior Alexandra Staiculescu and freshman Nicole Teodosescu were ahead 5-4 but had their game unfinished after Penn State gained the doubles point.
Indiana head coach Ramiro Azcui tried to shake things up by reuniting Mejic and Lemonds at No. 3 and putting Staiculescu and Teodosescu together for the first time, but it wasn’t enough.
For the singles, the Hoosiers continued to struggle. At No. 6, redshirt junior Xiaowei "Rose" Hu lost 6-4 and 6-1 to junior Karly Friedland and fell to 5-5 this season.
Nihalani, at No. 2, lost to sophomore Yvonne Zuffova 6-0 and 6-4, extending her losing streak to three games now. Nittany Lion Zuffova was on a four-game losing streak and was 6-11 in the season, including 1-3 in the Big Ten, but Nihalani couldn’t beat her. With the loss, the Hoosiers’ No. 2 fell to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
At No. 1, Indiana’s Schneider lost 7-5 and 6-0 to Nittany Lion Chekhlystova. Indiana’s No. 1 was hit with her first loss against a Big Ten opponent (3-1 now) while Penn State’s No. 1 earned her first victory against a conference opponent (1-2 now). Schneider also lost her eight-game winning streak and fell to 10-3 this season after the loss.
The Hoosier No. 3 Mejic lost 6-3 and 7-5 to Nittany Lion Gheorghita, snapping her three-game winning streak. In addition, Mejic was undefeated playing at No. 3, with a 2-0 record previously, but fell to 10-6 on the season and 2-2 in the Big Ten after Sunday’s loss.
Staiculescu lost to Girbau 6-4 and 6-4 at No. 4 and extended her losing streak to six games. The Hoosiers’ No. 4 is now 2-12 this season and winless in the conference, with a 0-4 record.
In one of the most awaited matches of the weekend, Hoosier No. 5 Teodosescu lost to freshman Olivia Dorner 3-6, 6-2 and 6-4. Dorner has the best record — 2-5 overall now — among the Nittany Lions and earned her first Big Ten victory on Sunday, improving to 1-3. With the loss, Teodosescu fell to 5-4 this season — 2-2 in the Big Ten — and had her three-game winning streak snapped.
The Hoosiers are 3-3 in their last five games and fell to 10-6 overall this season and 3-3 on the road.
Next, Indiana will take on Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday.