INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It was quite the match today in Indianapolis, Indiana with all the drama that one could muster as Indiana Wesleyan University women’s tennis went to the wire in a 5-4 victory over Marian (Ind.).
Not only was the Crossroads League regular season championship on the line Tuesday but so was the Indiana Wesleyan win streak during the fall season. IWU entered play today with 235 consecutive wins in the fall which dates back to 1995.
Last season Indiana Wesleyan won two very competitive matches with Marian and knew they were in for a fight today. Both teams were unbeaten in Crossroads League play with Indiana Wesleyan 7-0 and playing their final league match while Marian was 6-0 with one left after today.
Despite nine different matches being played on the court today, the pressure of the league title and the win streak came down to senior Kristen Futrell at No. 5-singles. She lost the first set 1-6 and evened the match with a 7-6 tie-breaker in the second set. She was leading the final set 4-2 when Marian had tied the team score 4-4. She would capture the next two games to clinch the Wildcat victory.
“Kristen was the last one on the court when Marian tied the score 4-4,” said an excited Indiana Wesleyan head coach Terry Porter. “But Kristen came through like the great senior she is.”
With the victory Indiana Wesleyan wins the Crossroads League regular season championship for the 22nd straight year. IWU has won every league championship dating back to 1992. Also in tact is the fall win streak which increases to 236 wins.
Indiana Wesleyan would lead from the beginning as its top two doubles teams earned victories. The top tandem of Katie Wilson and Kim Mella dominated 8-1 while the second team of Futrell and Rachel Bottorff won 8-6. The third team of Courtney Siepman and Ellen Hornett fell in an 8-3 decision.
The Wildcats would quickly gain two more wins in singles from the top two positions for a 4-1 lead. Wilson won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1-singles while Bottorff finished shortly after with a 6-0, 6-2 win at the No. 2 match. But Marian would win the next three matches to tie the match at 4-4. Rachael Heiniger lost 4-6, 4-6 at No. 3-singles, Mella dropped a 2-6, 6-2, 4-6 match at No. 4-singles, and Siepman fell 6-7, 3-6 in the No. 6 contest.
Indiana Wesleyan completes its fall regular season at 2:30 p.m. this weekend in a non-league showdown with Cornerstone (Mich.) at the Sutter Tennis Center.