Michigan State (9-6, 1-3 B1G) at Penn State (7-8, 1-2 B1G)
At your place: Saturday, April 2
Time: 10 am ET
Location: Sarni Tennis Center (University Park, Pa.)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Michigan State at No. 8 Ohio State (10-4, 3-0 B1G)
At your place: Sunday, April 3
Time: Noon ET
Location: Ty Tucker Tennis Center (Columbus, Ohio)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s tennis team closes out a four-match road trip with a pair of Big Ten contests this weekend, heading to Penn State and No. 8 Ohio State on back-to-back days. MSU will open with a 10 am meeting with the Nittany Lions on Saturday, before making the trek to the Columbus on Sunday for a noon opening serve.
The matches will finish off a stretch of four-straight conference road contests for the Spartans, with the Green and White coming off losses at Wisconsin and Minnesota last weekend.
Last Friday’s 6-1 loss at No. 50 Wisconsin opened with the Badgers grabbing the doubles points despite the top Spartan pairing of senior Maja Pietrowicz and graduate student Mary Lewis defeating the No. 52-ranked duo of Xinyu Cai and Alina Mukhortova by a 6-3 score. Wisconsin then won five-straight singles match before Pietrowicz was able to recover after losing her opening set, winning the next two sets by identical scores to post a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Xinyu Cai.
The Sunday showdown at Minnesota ended with a 4-0 defeat for MSU, as the No. 55 Gophers would take the first two doubles matches to go up 1-0, then picking up three singles victories, leaving the final three singles matches unfinished.
Sophomore Ayshe Can leads the Spartans with 13 singles victories, going 10-4 this spring, while senior Lauren Lemonds is second on MSU with 12 singles wins this season.
On the doubles side, Lewis and Pietrowicz pace the Spartans with a 13-10 record as a pairing this season, holding a 2-1 mark against ranked duos. Can and senior Nicole Stephens have the second-most doubles wins, as the pair have won eight matches together on the campaign.
Penn State will play its first match in 13 days when the Spartans come to town and first home contest in nearly a month. The Nittany Lions went on four-match road trip after beating Bucknell on March 6, as a 4-0 win at East Carolina was followed by losses to UNC Wilmington and Nebraska, but PSU responded with a 4-3 victory at Iowa on March 20 Yvonne Zuffova paces the Nittany Lions with a 9-5 singles mark this spring, while Gabby O’Gorman has gone 8-5 in singles action this spring. In doubles play, Zuffova has five wins while playing with Olivia Ryan, and O’Gorman has notched five victories alongside Sofiya Chekhlystova.
Ohio State had a six-match winning streak end on March 16 with a 7-0 loss to No. 15 Georgia, but the Buckeyes pulled out wins at Iowa and Nebraska before having a March 27 meeting at Arizona State canceled. The Buckeyes will face No. 19 Michigan on April 2 before hosting the Spartans the next day. Ranked as the No. 8 singles player in the nation, Irina Cantos Siemers holds a 25-8 record this season, while No. 26 Isabelle Boulais is 13-7 on the campaign and Sydni Ratliff sits 60th in the country with an 18-10 singles mark. Cantos Siemers and Ratliff also rank as the No. 18 doubles pairing in the latest ITA polls with a 15-6 record.
MSU is 12-21 in 33 all-time meetings with Penn State in dual action, dropping three matches by identical 3-4 scores to the Nittany Lions last season.
Sunday will be the 54th all-time meeting between the Spartans and Buckeyes, as OSU has a 39-14 advantage in the series after winning a pair of 6-1 regular season matches last season before ending MSU’s campaign with a 4-0 win over the Spartans in the B1G Tournament quarterfinals.
Michigan State will return home for an April 9 rivalry match against Michigan at 3 pm