EAST LANSING, Mich. † The Michigan State women’s tennis team began its Big Ten Conference slate on Sunday afternoon with a 5-2 victory at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.
With the win, the Spartans improved to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in league action, while the Hoosiers shifted to 7-7 on the season and 0-2 in the B1G.
Indiana struck first in doubles play, as the top Hoosier duo of Lara Schneider and Laura Masic took a quick lead over senior Nicole Stephens and sophomore Ayshe Cani on the way to a 6-3 win over the Spartan pairing.
The Hoosiers’ No. 3 duo of Rose Hu and Lexi Kubas sealed the doubles point for IU with a 6-3 victory against senior Lauren Lemonds and Tia Mukherjeewhile senior Maja Pietrowicz and graduate student Mary Lewis were able to win one doubles match for MSU with a 6-3 victory over Alexandra Staiculescu and Mila Mejic on the second court moments later.
In the span of 30 seconds, the Spartans took a 2-1 lead when Can won her No. 4 singles battle with Mejic by a 6-1, 7-5 score, and Lemonds finished off Hu one court over in the No. 5 spot in a 6-3, 6-1 victory. IU briefly tied the team score at 3-3 when Masic defeated Stephens on the second court, 6-3, 6-4, but freshman Charlotte Gisclon put MSU back in front on the No. 6 court with a 6-1, 7-5 win against Sayda Hernandez.
Pietrowicz clinched the match for Michigan State with a three-setter on the third court, battling past Staiculescu for a 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-2 victory. The final score was determined when Lewis and Schneider duked it out on the top court in a three-set thriller, as a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3) win went to Lewis.
The Spartans now hold a 9-48-1 all-time record against Indiana, while MSU improves to 5-2 against the Hoosiers under head coach Kim Bruno† For Lemonds, she has won six-straight matches in singles play, while Lewis and Pietrowicz are on a three-match win streak in doubles play.
Michigan State closes the three-match homestand next Saturday, March 19 against Big Ten foe Purdue. That match is slated for a noon start, with the team honoring the legacy of former Spartan and 1993 All-Big Ten First Team selection Alicia Leone (1971-2021) prior to the contest.