No. 44 Women’s Tennis Continues Historic Season

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The MSU Indoor Tennis Facility in East Lansing, Michigan was host to two great matches over the weekend; both of which ended in a 4-3 victory for the No. 44 Michigan State women’s tennis team.

Two more big, Big Ten wins have been added to the record for the team.  With a 15-2 overall record and 4-0 within the Big Ten, head coach, Simone Jardim, has positioned the team for what is shaping to be one of best seasons on record for the school. The 4-0 start in the Big Ten is also the first in school history.

“We got here by playing simple tennis, not trying to reinvent anything or do something that needs to be flashy,” Jardim said. “I think their hard work is paying off.”

A struggling Wisconsin team gave the Spartans all they could handle in the Saturday matchup.  Michigan State secured the win after Aslina Chua (MSU) defeated Lauren Burich (WIS) in two sets 6-3, 6-1, and Erin Faulkner (MSU) held off Lauren Chypyha (WIS) in their final set 7-5.

“Coach said I just needed to keep it simple. I lost the first set by trying to do too much and making too many errors,” Faulkner said. “It’s great. A win’s always a win.”

“I think mentally, we just have to stay in it,” Chua said.  “A big thing that really pulls us out in our wins is having the heart and discipline to do what’s needed during the right times.”

Saturday Box Score:

DOUBLES

1) Faulkner/Trouillot (MSU) def. Chypyha/Avgerinos (WIS) 8-4

2) Baer/Parenteau (MSU) def. Burich/Grambeau (WIS) 8-1

3) Baylis/Meyers (MSU) vs. Rider/Stepanova (WIS) 7-5 unfinished

SINGLES

1) Faulkner (MSU) def. Chypyha (WIS) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5

2) Avgerinos (WIS) def. Baylis (MSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)

3) Chua (MSU) def. Burich (WIS) 6-3, 6-1

4) Parenteau (MSU) def. Rider (WIS) 7-5, 6-4

5) Stepanova (WIS) def. Trouillot (MSU) 6-4, 6-0

6) Grambeau (WIS) def. Meyers (MSU) 6-4, 6-2

It was another nail-biter on Sunday when No. 44 MSU faced off against No. 63 Minnesota. The match came down tosingles, in which Lexi Baylis (MSU) had to endure Caroline Ryba’s (MINN) run to take a 5-1 in the second set. The two freshmen fought back and forth all match, but Baylis was able to tie the match up 6-6 and eventually win 7-6 (9-7 tiebreaker).

“It [the win] feels good, I knew it was coming down to me….just no one told me,” Baylis admitted. “I handle the pressure just knowing the fact I’m not alone…that there’s 11 other girls behind me.”

The coaches were impressed that Baylis was able to come back and win her match for herself and the team.

“I don’t think you can put a price on that type of experience because until you’ve done it, there’s no amount of practice that can prepare you for that moment,” associate head coach, Tyler Faulkner said. “It’s a good day to be a Spartan.”

Chua had another solid performance, beating her opponent in the final set 6-2. Aslina was did not just win the match, but also the mental game she has been working hard to improve.

“Belief is a very big word there…just having the confidence that you can pull it out when you need to,” Chua said. “It’s trusting your shot, not doubting yourself and having the faith it’s going to be there when you need it most.”

Jardim compared the matches to another college sporting event taking place currently.

“It’s like March Madness, everyone wants to peak in March…for us, we want to peak in April,” Jardim said.

Sunday Box Score:

DOUBLES

1) Rinco-Otero/Brichacova (MINN) def. Faulkner/Trouillot (MSU) 8-4

2) Baer/Parenteau (MSU) vs. Courter/Mozia (MINN) 5-5 unfinished

3) Ryba/Safdar (MINN) def. Baylis/Meyers (MSU) 8-1

SINGLES

1) Faulkner (MSU) def. Brichacova (MINN) 6-4. 6-3

2) Baylis (MSU) def. Ryba (MINN) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)

3) Chua (MSU) def. Mozia (MINN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

4) Parenteau (MSU) def. Vujic (MINN) 6-3, 6-1

5) Lambert (MINN) def. Trouillot (MSU) 6-2, 6-1

6) Courter (MINN) def. Meyers (MSU) 6-1, 6-3