IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s tennis team defeated Michigan State, 4-3, on Wednesday in the opening round of the Big Ten Championships Tournament, held this week at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.
Iowa (7-16) got off to a great start, winning the doubles point with victories on courts one and three. The doubles duo of Samantha Mannix/Samantha Gillas won at No. 1 by the score of 7-6(5), while the team of Barbora Pokorna/Michelle Bacalla secured the point by virtue of another 7-6(5) score at No. 3.
Michigan State (9-14) won the first two singles matches by identical 6-4, 6-4 scores on courts four and five. Pokorna evened the contest at 2-2 with a 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 triumph on court three. The Hawkeye freshman trailed 5-2 in the third set before rattling off five straight points for the win.
Marisa Schmidt fell in three sets on at No. 1, leaving the match on the racquet of Mannix on court three. Mannix dropped the first set 7-6 and won the second 7-5. Trailing 4-3 in the third and on deuce, the native of Elkhorn, Nebraska, won the point and the final two points to clinch the match.
“That was a pretty big point,” said Mannix. “I have played enough college tennis to know that it can flip a match one way or another. I think it helped having Coach Schmid on the court with me. She calmed me down and made me realize what I needed to do. I’m excited to play Illinois tomorrow, a match that we barely lost in the regular season.”
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH SASHA SCHMID
“This was an incredibly hard-fought match. Last time against them we had to win in a breaker so we knew we could do it. This is a testament to how hard all of these teams want to continue their season, everyone fights hard. We lost the first set in all three singles matches that we won today and to be able to turn those matches was huge. We showed a lot of heart.”
Iowa advances to play No. 48 Illinois (15-8) on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Championships Tournament. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. Admission is free to the public.
Iowa 4, Michigan State 3
1. Mary Lewis (MSU) def. Marisa Schmidt (UI): 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-1
2. Barbora Pokorna (UI) def. Ayshe Can (MSU): 2-6, 7-5, 7-5
3. Samantha Mannix (UI) def. Maja Pietrowicz (MSU): 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-4
4. Nicole Stephens (MSU) def. Vipasha Mehra (UI): 6-4, 6-4
5. Lauren Lemonds (MSU) def. Samantha Gillas (UI): 6-4, 6-4
6. Michelle Bacalla (UI) def. Charlotte Gisclon (MSU): 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1
1. Mannix/Gillas (UI) def. Lewis/Pietrowicz (MSU): 7-6(5)
2. Can/Stephens (MSU) def. Schmidt/Mehra (UI): 6-3
3. Pokorna/Bacalla (UI) def. Zdrubecka/Gisclon (MSU): 7-6(5)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,4,2,6,1,3)