Michigan State women’s tennis fell to No. 20 Kentucky on the road 5-2, on Sunday, February 21. They took the defeat well and vowed to bounce back.
This weekend, the Spartans hosted a trio of home games at the Spartan Indoor Tennis Facility. They took on Western Michigan on Friday and dueled with Cleveland State and Bowling Green on Sunday.
Previously, Western Michigan had given the Spartans a hard time. They are a strong team with balanced singles and doubles players.
Coming onto the pitch, the Spartans looked confident taking on one of their in-state rivals, the Broncos. They took an early lead by overcoming the Broncos in doubles. Sophomores Aslina Chua and Allie Baer won their game, 6-3. Athena Trouillot and Davina Nguyen also won their game, 6-4, making it their ninth win of the season securing them a precious point.
Freshmen Emily Metcalf and Nguyen won their singles matches in straight sets. Junior Erin Faulkner and senior Emily Meyers won their games, each resulting in three-set thrillers. It was Meyers’s sixth win of the spring.
The final score on Friday was 5-2 in favor of the Spartans.
Following the victory, the Spartans geared up for their doubleheader on Sunday. The players were slowly hitting their peak fitness levels.
The women’s tennis team looked fired up on Sunday morning. The stands were nearly filled to the brim. The fans expected two exciting matches.
This day turned out to be a complete whitewash in MSU’s favor. Cleveland State and Bowling Green were completely shut down by the Spartans.
The Spartans won both of their doubles games against Cleveland State. Michigan State’s leading doubles pair, Nguyen and Trouillot, won their tenth doubles game of the season. Baer and Chua also won their doubles game. The Spartans were leading by a point within an hour.
The singles were no different either. The Spartans managed to win each of their games. Four of the six games were straight-set wins. Baer is still unbeaten in the spring with a record of 3-0.
The girls were rotated about the court with everyone taking different court numbers, but that didn’t faze them as they won every single game. The final score was 7-0.
Similar results were seen against Bowling Green, with the Spartans again winning every singles and doubles game.
This time, junior Anna Zelechonok and Baer teamed up and emerged victorious, 6-0. Meyers and Metcalf also got an easy win, 6-1.
In the singles, Meyers and Trouillot had dominating games, winning both of their games 6-0, 6-0.
Chua clinched her game 6-2, 6-1 on Court 3. She was hitting fierce winners, and this time she didn’t don her usual headband, instead wearing a Spartan cap.
When asked about her love for the sport, Chua replied, “Tennis is very individual, but it’s so nice to come in here and play as a team and especially as a family, which is very special.”
She has been in a good run of form in the past few games.
“It’s fun, just trying to keep focus. Winning is fun, but we have a lot to do, as Simone always says, we have to peak when Big Ten comes around. It’s always a journey about improving,” she said.
Junior Emmy Virkus played in her first game of the spring season. The whole team was behind her. She won the game in straight-sets, 7-5, 7-5. She came back in the second set after being down 1-5.
She was ecstatic after her first win of the season, exclaiming, “That was really fun. The entire time, my team supported me and was by my side the entire match, which was really helpful and exciting at the same time. I think that also made me play better.”
She also said, “This match especially helped me gain experience. A lot of those points, I kinda learned how to use her weaknesses to my advantage.”
Head coach Simone Jardim was very happy with the team’s form.
“We’ve played very strong oppositions so far,” Jardim said. “The three losses that we have, all have come from really good teams, all of them are top teams in the country and we’ve played them well. To me this is what is expected from the team and we always have high expectations and our goals are high. This weekend was all about us and taking care of business and doing some of the things we have been working on, being aggressive. We’ve just been going at it and we want to peak at the right time.”
The Spartans finished 7-0 at the end making it three out of three for the weekend.
Michigan State will be back in action against College of Charleston and Charleston Southern in Charleston, South Carolina, from March 10-11.