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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana women’s tennis splits Big Ten road trip over weekend

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Indiana women’s tennis fell 4-3 to No. 71 Nebraska on Friday but finished the road trip strong with a 4-2 win against No. 57 Iowa on Sunday. The Hoosiers are now 11-7 on the season and 2-4 in the conference.

On Friday, the Hoosiers started doubles with a loss at No. 2. Redshirt junior Alexandra Staiculescu and freshman Nicole Teodosescu fell 6-2 to Huskers’ junior Isabel Adrover Gallego and sophomore Ana Carmen Zamburek. 

This was the second time Staiculescu and Teodosescu played together at No. 2 and this was their first loss. Last week against Penn State, they were ahead 5-4 but their game went unfinished. 

Indiana redshirt juniors Mila Mejic and Xiaowei "Rose" Hu played together for the first time this season and lost 6-3 to Huskers’ sophomores Lucy Loy and Anfisa Danilchenko at No. 3. The loss awarded Nebraska the doubles point. 

At No. 1, Hoosier sophomore Lara Schneider and graduate student Saby Nihalani were tying Huskers’ senior Samantha Alicea and junior Raphaëlle Lacasse 4-4 in what was arguably the most awaited matchup. The Huskers’ No. 1 double was undefeated and the Hoosiers’ No. 1 was 9-4 entering the game, but it went unfinished after the Hoosiers lost at No. 2 and 3. 

In singles play, the Hoosiers started behind with Huskers’ No. 6 Loy defeating Hoosier graduate student Lauren Lemonds by straight sets, 6-2 and 6-2.  

The Hoosiers brought themselves back to the game with two straight wins. Schneider won at No. 1 against Huskers’ Zamburek 6-3 and 6-1, and No. 4 Staiculescu defeated Huskers’ Danilchenko by 6-2 and 6-4. 

However, the Huskers came back and won at No. 3 and 5. The No. 5 match finished first with Teodosescu losing 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2 to Huskers’ Lacasse, then Mejic fell 7-6 (7-4), 3-6 and 6-1 at No. 3 to Nebraska’s Alicea. 

With the winner set, the coaches decided to interrupt the No. 2 game between Hoosier Nihalani and Husker Gallego. The Huskers’ No. 2 was ahead by a slight margin, 4-6, 7-5 and 4-3, but the game went unfinished. 

On Sunday, the Hoosiers started out the matchup the same way, losing the doubles point, but they saw a different ending. 

At No. 3, Mejic and Hu were shut out 6-0 against Hawkeye’s freshman Pia Kranholdt and sophomore Barbora Pokorna, the second straight loss for Hoosiers’ No. 3. 

Hoosiers’ No. 1 Schneider and Nihalani fell 6-4 to Hawkeyes’ fifth-year senior Samantha Mannix and junior Vipasha Mehra, extending their losing streak to three games and dropping to 9-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference. 

Indiana’s Staiculescu and Teodosescu were tying Hawkeyes’ freshman Daianne Hayashida and sophomore Marisa Schmidt 5-5, but the game went unfinished since Iowa had already taken the doubles point. 

For the singles, the Hoosiers started with two wins to take the lead. The first win came at No. 4 with Staiculescu defeated Hawkeye’s Mehra 6-4 and 6-3. Staiculescu won her two singles matches this weekend, gaining a two-game winning streak and improving to 4-12 overall and 2-4 in the conference. 

 No. 5 Teodosescu won 6-4 and 6-4 against Hawkeye’s Pokorna. Paired with Friday’s loss, the win puts Teodosescu at 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten this season. 

The Hoosiers’ streak of wins was interrupted by Hawkeye’s Mannix defeating Nihalani 6-3, 2-6 and 6-2 at No. 2. Nihalani is now on a four-game losing streak and dropped to 9-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten this season. 

The Hoosiers did not let themselves be affected by the loss at No. 2 and kept fighting. No. 6 Hu beat Hawkeye’s Kranholdt by 6-1, 4-6 and 7-5. The Hoosiers’ No. 6 has won two of the last 3 singles matches and is now 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten. 

Hu’s win was followed by Hoosiers’ No. 1 Schneider, who defeated Hawkeye’s Schmidt 6-2, 7-6 (11-9). Schneider has now won two straight singles matches and improved to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference. 

Mejic was down 4-6, 6-4 and 5-2 to Hawkeye’s Hayashida but their game went unfinished. 

With the slip of the road trip, the Hoosiers keep their away record at .500, improving to 4-4. Indiana is 7-3 at home and is now looking ahead to two straight Big Ten home games, the first being against Michigan State.

Indiana plays Michigan State in Bloomington Saturday, April 8. 

Follow reporter Leo Paes (@Leordpaes) for updates throughout the match and the rest of the Indiana women’s tennis season.
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