The Michigan women”s tennis team had split the first two doubles matches and Szandra Fuzesi and Alison Sinclair playing in place of injured Kim Plaushines were fighting it out with Western Michigan”s No. 2 doubles pair for the lone doubles” point.
Sensing the importance of the match, Michigan”s sideline grew louder with each point, cheering on Fuzesi and Sinclair like players from the dugout.
Sinclair split the opponents down the middle on a shot that would have forced a third deuce but it landed just long. The rest of the team walked onto the court to console their fallen teammates.
The team wouldn”t allow themselves to quit on each other and rallied to sweep the singles matches.
“We just had to put it behind us,” sophomore Joanne Musgrove said. “We went into singles with our heads high and remembered to keep a positive attitude. Losing doubles was tough. It came down to two match-points but we still knew we could win the match.”
“After we lost, we had no time to dwell on it,” freshman Kavitha Tipirneni said. “Bitsy was so upbeat. It helps that Bitsy is so positive, it filters down through the entire team. She let it be known that all the singles were ours.”
Michigan stepped into the singles matches and came out hot, winning many of the early games. Szandra Fuzesi won the first nine points of her match before going on to win her match 6-0, 6-4.
“It felt really good to win. We really needed this match,” senior Szandra Fuzesi said after her No. 3 singles victory.
Musgrove was the next to finish her match, winning 6-2, 6-2 against No. 5 Meaghan Colville. Soon after, Tipirneni had Larissa Chinwah on the ropes at the No. 1 spot and was going in for the finish. But Chinwah would not go away without a fight, rallying from 40-15 at match point to force deuce before she double-faulted to give Tipirneni the 6-4, 6-1 victory.
The Wolverines were now up 3-1 in the match and only needed one more win to put the match out of the Broncos” reach.
With all of the matches on the south side of the Varsity Tennis Center finished, everyone”s attention was focused on the other side, where the remaining three matches were to be decided.
“I am so nervous right now,” Fuzesi said as she watched Jen Vaughn finish up her match.
The team as a whole was anxious to get their first victory in over a month and “turn it around and start the season over,” Musgrove said.
Vaughn went on to win her match 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 guaranteeing the victory for the 4-6 Wolverines before Chirssi Nolan and Jen Duprez won their matches.
“It felt really good (to seal the victory),” junior Jen Vaughn said. “I have struggled in three-set matches. It is the first three-set match I have won in a while, it felt really great to finally get a win.”