Following last weekend’s disappointing matches against Northwestern and Illinois, the Maryland tennis looked to rebound and improve its 1-4 Big Ten record with back-to-back home matches against Iowa and Nebraska.
Saturday’s noon matchup against Iowa may have produced the largest crowd of the season at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, and the Terps certainly played off the crowd’s energy, dominating the Hawkeyes 4-0.
It has now practically become a tradition for the Terps to secure the doubles point, no matter whether the team wins or loses, and that held true once again Saturday. For the 11th time in 17 matches, the Terps won the doubles point, spearheaded by the duos of Kate Yemelyanenka and Saya Usui, and Eva Alexandrova and Millie Stretton.
Stretton dominated her singles match 6-1, 6-2, while Zoe Kulkarni won her singles, 6-2, 6-3. Alexandrova secured the shutout, winning her match 7-5, 6-0.
With the Terps raising their conference record to 2-4 and riding momentum off of a shutout, the team looked to pull an upset over No. 38 Nebraska early Sunday morning.
Once again, the Terps won the doubles point thanks to the pairs of Ekaterina Tour and Arnelle Sullivan, and Alexandrova and Stretton. The Terps’ 1-0 lead in the match quickly disappeared, though, as Sullivan and Stretton both lost their singles matches. But Alexandrova, Kulkarni and Tour all won their singles matches, propelling the Terps to a 4-2 victory over the Cornhuskers.
For Kulkarni, Sunday’s singles victory was her 11th of the season. She has dominated conference play, as she has won her last five singles matches against Big Ten opponents.
The Terps have now raised their conference record to 3-4, and hit the state of Michigan next week to play the Wolverines and the Spartans.