Utah State women's tennis (3-2) split its matches on Friday after winning, 4-0, against Detroit Mercy (0-4) followed by a 6-1 loss to Michigan State (6-1).
"Today we came out and played exceptionally hard in both matches," head coach Sean McInerney said. "It was a nice win against Detroit. We played smart and with purpose."
Utah State opened the doubleheader against Detroit Mercy. The Aggies won the doubles point after sophomores Hannah Jones and Lucy Octave beat juniors Pauline Van Herck and Iris Thioux at the No. 2 spot, 6-4, and redshirt freshman Alexandra Taylor and sophomore Sophia Haleas won, 6-3, at the No. 3 spot against sophomore Ksenia Providokhina and redshirt freshman Sophie Torcello. Senior Maggie O'Meara and freshman Sasha Pisareva lost, 3-6, at the No. 1 spot to freshmen Chelsea Apawti and Jasmine Apawti.
In singles against Detroit Mercy, Pisareva won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot against Thioux. O'Meara won at the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-2, against Van Herck. Senior Sabrina Demerath won the first set, 6-3, and didn't drop a game in the second to win it, 6-0, at the No. 5 spot against Chelsea Apawti. The remaining matches went unfinished.
"Michigan State is a really good team," McInerney said. "We played very smart against them. Like the Arizona match, we need to keep the level for a much longer period of time. We are working hard, and it will get there. I really like the direction we are going."
Against Michigan State, the Spartans took the doubles point after freshman Ava Thielman and senior Lexi Baylis defeated Taylor and Haleas at the No. 3 spot, 6-2, followed by juniors Emily Metcalf and Davina Nguyen winning, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot against O'Meara and Pisareva.
O'Meara lost, 2-6, 0-6, at the No. 5 spot to Nguyen. Jones finished next with a 4-6, 2-6 loss at the No. 4 spot to Metcalf. Senior Habiba Shaker clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over sophomore Rhoda Tanui. Octave lost her first set, 6-7 (4), and the second by retirement at the No. 3 spot against freshman Sara Kuuttila. Demerath lost, 5-7, 6-7 (3), at the No. 6 spot to sophomore Samantha Memije. Pisareva recorded the only Aggies win with a 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) victory over senior Aslina Chua at the No. 1 spot.
Utah State continues its East Lansing trip with a match against Akron (3-2) on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.