Big Ten Tournament: The 13th-seeded Michigan State women’s tennis team came close to winning numerous times Wednesday. But lost to 12th-seeded Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament first round. At the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, the Hawkeyes beat the Spartans 4-3. Two doubles matches went to a tiebreaker, while four singles courts needed all three sets to determine winners after a close doubles match.
The Spartans came close to closing out the Hawkeyes twice in a bid to take the lead in doubles. But Iowa fought back in both to take the 1-0 lead. The No. 2 MSU combination of senior Nicole Stephens and sophomore Ayshe Can be able to pull away from Marisa Schmidt and Vipasha Mehra to win 6-3. While the No. 1 and No. 3 Spartan pairings battled back to force tiebreakers after early deficits.
Tennis News: Maja Pietrowicz and Mary Lewis
Maja Pietrowicz and graduate student Mary Lewis rallied from a 3-5 hole to force a 6-6 tiebreaker. Also, even leading 5-4 in the tiebreaker set, Samantha Mannix and Samantha Gillas won 7-6 (7-5) to tie the doubles match. It came down to freshman Charlotte Gisclon and junior Dagmar Zdrubecka against the Barbora Pokorna and Michelle Bacalla in the No. 3 doubles match. The Spartans also overcame an early Iowa lead to force a 6-6 tiebreaker, which Gisclon and Zdrubecka won 5-4. Unfortunately for Iowa, the Hawkeye team won the three tiebreaker points, winning 7-6 (7-5) and claiming the doubles point.
Nicole Stephens and fellow senior Lauren Lemonds helped MSU take the first two singles matches to finish, putting the Spartans up 2-1. Lemonds won three straight points in the first set to defeat Gillas, who was down 3-4. Also, then finished out the No. 5 Hawkeye player in the second set to win 6-4, 6-4. On the No. 4 singles court, Stephens similarly took the final three games of her first set. It is against Mehra before winning the second set to complete a 6-4, 6-4 victory. Pokorna’s comeback effort on the second singles court gave the Hawkeyes a win. It can have a convincing first-set victory. Pokorna came back from a set down in the second and third sets to defeat the Spartan No. 2 player and win 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Big Ten Tournament
Iowa won another singles match at No. 6 to pull within 3-2 of clinching, as Bacalla overcame Gisclon in three sets, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1. In wearing the green and white in her final match. Lewis was also able to recover after losing the first set in a tiebreaker. In the second set, by winning the tiebreaker Moreover, she won the third set convincingly to beat Schmidt 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), and 6-1. The top singles court is where the team will tie the game at 3-3. Furthermore, Pietrowicz won the opening set of the tiebreaker match at No. 3 singles. And she came close to overcoming a 4-0 deficit in the second set. Mannix, on the other hand, defeated the Spartan in the second set. Then she won a back-and-forth third set to terminate MSU’s season with a 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-4 victory.
Lastly, Iowa now leads MSU in the all-time series, 33-17. The Spartans finish the season with a 9-14 record. The Hawkeyes improve to 7-16 and proceed to the Big Ten Tournament’s second round. And at 6 p.m., they’ll face No. 5-seed Illinois. Thursday, April 28th, at 8:00 a.m. (CT).
Image Credit: bigten.org
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