Women’s tennis hosts Northwest and Illinois in senior weekend

Michigan State (9-11, 1-8 B1G) vs. No. 39 Northwestern (12-7, 7-2 B1G)
Date: Saturday April 23
Weather: Noon ET
Location: MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts (East Lansing, Michigan)
Live statistics: WEAPON OF WEIGHT
Program: PDF

Michigan State vs. Illinois No. 47 (14-7, 7-2 B1G)
Date: sunday april 24
Weather: 11 a.m. ET
Location: MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts (East Lansing, Michigan)
Live statistics: WEAPON OF WEIGHT
Program: PDF

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The final weekend of the regular season has arrived for the Michigan State women’s tennis team, as the Spartans are set to host Northwestern on Saturday, April 22 at the MSU outdoor tennis courts, before holding senior day. Sunday, April 24 before their home. game against Illinois.

Games against the No. 39 and No. 47 Illini Wildcats will serve as the final tune-up before the Big Ten tournament next week in Iowa City. Sunday will also be the last time he plays in East Lansing for the grad quartet. Mary Lewis and seniors Lauren Lemonds, Maja Pietrowicz and Nicole Stephens.

MSU is coming off a pair of 4-1 losses last week, as the Green and White dropped a home game against Iowa on April 14 before losing at Nebraska on April 17.

The showdown with the Hawkeyes began with two doubles games leading to a tiebreaker, as Marisa Schmidt and Vipasha Mehra fought back from an early hole to sweep the second-year tiebreaker. Ayshe can and freshman Charlotte Gisclo for a 7-6 (7-0) victory on the second court that sealed the doubles point. Singles wins for Iowa on the No. 2 and No. 5 courts then extended Hawkeye’s advantage before Lewis won his first set and won the next six games after falling 0-3 at the start of the second set to close the match, 6-4, 6-3. Iowa ended the 4-1 victory when Michelle Bacalla took a 7-5, 6-4 victory over MSU junior Tia Mukherjee.

Sunday morning at Lincoln saw the Huskers earn the doubles point with a pair of 6-2 wins on the first and third courts, leaving a 4-4 game for Can and Gisclon against Chloe Kuckelman and Isabel Gallego to remain unfinished in the No. 2 spot. Kristina Novak then beat Lewis on the top court (6-3, 6-3) and Kuckelman beat Stephens at the No. 5 position (6-3, 6-3), but Pietrowicz was able to win a 6-3, 6-3 match against Maja Makoric to restore hope to the Spartans. Nebraska would thwart any chance of an MSU comeback when Samantha Alicea closed it out with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Lemonds on the No. 4 field, securing Husker’s 4-1 win. .

Going into the match against Northwestern, Can leads the Spartans with 13 singles wins and a 10-5 mark in doubles. Can went 8-4 in the No. 4 spot and recently joined the No. 3 field, where she holds a 2-1 record. Lemonds and Pietrowicz are second on the team with 12 singles wins apiece, as Lemonds went 9-6 in the spring while Pietrowicz has held an 8-10 record since early January. Pietrowicz and Lewis have teamed up to go 14-12 in doubles this season, pacing MSU and holding a 3-3 record in Big Ten play.

Northwestern arrives in East Lansing after a 4-3 loss to Illinois on April 17, putting the Wildcats 1-2 in their last three games after winning their first six conference games. NU’s Big Ten first mistake was a 5-2 loss at Ohio State on April 8, but the Wildcats recovered for a 7-0 win over Indiana two days later. Clarissa Hand ranks 113th in the nation with a 15-13 overall record in singles.

Illinois rode a five-game winning streak on April 10 when Penn State upset the Illini, 4-3, but Illinois bounced back with the 4-3 win over Northwestern on senior day last Sunday. The Fighting Illini open their final weekend of the regular season Friday at 4 p.m. in Michigan before coming to MSU. Ashley Yeah led the team in singles, going 14-5 in second place this spring, while Megan Heuser and Kasia Treiber both have 12 singles wins since the start of the doubles season. On the doubles side, Yeah partnered Josie Frazier for an 11-6 record as second pair doubles, while Heuser and Kate Duong went 11-7 on the top court.

In the all-time series, Northwestern holds a 43-2 advantage over Michigan State, with the meeting at East Lansing last season ending in a 4-3 win for the then-7th-placed Wildcats. Illinois also has a lead over MSU in this all-time series, with the Illini holding a 36-12 advantage against the Spartans after splitting their two games a year ago.

Michigan State will open the Big Ten tournament in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 27 or Thursday, April 28. The time and the opponent must be determined.

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