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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana women’s tennis sweeps second doubleheader of the year

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Indiana women’s tennis continued its winning ways, taking both matchups of its doubleheader against Western Michigan University and Chicago State University. The Hoosiers beat the Broncos 5-2 and the Cougars 6-1. 

Indiana jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against Western Michigan after taking the doubles point. The No. 1 doubles pairing of redshirt junior Lara Schneider and graduate student Lene Mari Hovda quickly gained a 5-0 lead and fought off a comeback from Western Michigan fifth-year senior Lindsey Zieglar and senior Valeriya Monko to win the match 6-3.

The No. 2 doubles match was a comfortable victory for Indiana as graduate student Saby Nihalani and freshman Li Hsin Lin won 6-3 over Western Michigan senior Karin Hamilton and sophomore Audrey Smitek. 

The singles matches proved to be a tougher test for Indiana than the doubles matches. Schneider was able to break serve early in both of the sets and win the No. 1 singles match 6-3, 6-1 to get the second point. Indiana got its third point from Hovda, who defeated junior Polina Khotko 7-5, 6-3 in the No. 4 singles match. 

Indiana’s Lin began her college career last week with a discouraging 6-3, 6-1 loss against Bellarmine University; in the first set of her match Sunday against sophomore Ariane Souligny, she followed that trend with a 6-4 loss. However, she overcame the deficit and dominated the next two sets 6-3 and 6-1, clinching the fourth and victory-securing point for Indiana.  

“I was very proud to see her in the first match today go down a set and come back and win,” Indiana assistant coach Austin Roebuck said about Lin after the doubleheader. “I think these matches today are really gonna help her confidence going forward because when she’s confident and when she’s trusting her game and she’s trusting her instincts out there on the court, she is a really tough competitor.” 

Not only was this match the clincher for Indiana’s victory over Western Michigan, it was the first singles win of Lin’s collegiate career, which validated the beliefs of Roebuck and head coach Ramiro Azcui. 

“We have the utmost confidence in Li Hsin as a player,” Roebuck said. “We know that she’s gonna be a massive part of our program for the next four years.” 

Indiana continued its success from the first half of its doubleheader by once again taking the doubles point against Chicago State. Indiana’s typical No. 1 doubles pair, Schneider and Hovda, beat Chicago State graduate student Katarina Dukic and junior Manuella Eloundou 6-1, and the new No. 3 doubles pairing of freshmen Elisabeth Dunac and Sarah L’allier won 6-2 over freshman Nia Cooper and junior Danina Hughes. 

The domination of the doubles matches extended to most of the singles matches as well. Azcui rotated the lineups to include the five freshmen on the team, just as he had against Bellarmine Jan. 15. Nihalani, Dunac, Lin and L’allier rose to the occasion as they each won their matches in two sets. Freshman Magdalena Swierczynska also tallied a win, but her match ended after her 6-2 first set victory due to Chicago State junior Sofiya Sedovich retiring. 

Chase Boyer suffered Indiana’s only loss against the Cougars, but the freshman showed many positives throughout the match. After losing the first set 6-4 to Cooper, Boyer forced a third set tiebreaker after winning 6-3. Despite taking an 8-7 lead towards the end of the tiebreaker, Boyer lost 11-9. 

Although the loss was disappointing, Roebuck was pleased with the progression Boyer and all the freshmen have made to start the year. 

“What Ramiro and I are trying to do for them is to give them match experience,” Roebuck said. “The fall is different than the spring – the fall is individual, so you don’t get a feel of the pressure situation all the time. … [The match is] not coming down to their court specifically in these [spring] matches, but we know at some point in the future it’s gonna come down to somebody that hasn’t had that experience yet, so this is gonna really help going forward for the rest of the year.” 

The undefeated Hoosiers’ next matchup will be against Yale University on Sunday in Bloomington.

Follow reporter Mateo Fuentes-Rohwer (@mfr0617) for updates through the Indiana women’s tennis season.

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