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Women’s tennis loses to DePaul, whips Kansas

BY ROBBIE LEHMAN | FEBRUARY 23, 2009 7:30 AM

The Iowa women’s tennis team proved the rankings to be true this weekend. The No. 58 Hawkeyes lost to No. 57 DePaul 5-2 on Feb. 20 but bounced back Sunday to defeat No. 75 Kansas, 5-2, at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.

Iowa (5-5) fought all the way to the end against the Blue Demons in a meet nearly lasting four hours. The No. 2 doubles team of Lynne Poggensee-Wei and Kelcie Klockenga won, 8-7, but Iowa dropped the other two matches to give DePaul the doubles point.

The Hawkeyes then tied the score at 1-1 thanks to Sonja Molnar’s 6-3, 6-0 takedown in the No. 1 singles match. Iowa was then defeated in four singles matches before it earned its only other point on the day. Even though the meet had been determined, sophomore Alexis Dorr eventually wore her opponent out in a third-set tiebreaker to claim a 6-1, 4-6, [10-5] victory in the No. 3 singles match.

Against the Jayhawks, the Hawkeyes got off to a blazing start. Poggensee-Wei and Klockenga captured their second doubles win of the weekend, 8-6, and Dorr and freshman Ally Majercik netted Iowa the doubles point in their 8-8 (10-8) thriller to win in the No. 3 match and give the Hawkeyes the doubles point.

Iowa carried that momentum into a solid all-around singles performance in which it won four matches in a row. Molnar remained reliable with a 6-1, 6-1 win and Poggensee-Wei finished off her No. 3 opponent (6-2, 6-4). Klockenga won at No. 4 (6-3, 6-0), and Young prevailed (6-2, 6-2) in the No. 5 match.

Head coach Daryl Greenan thought his Hawkeyes played well overall during the weekend.
“I try not to get too excited about the losses,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy this win. The most important thing is we’re going in the right direction.”

Greenan tweaked both his doubles and singles lineups a week ago and decided to remain with them against DePaul and Kansas.

“Our doubles lineup has several combinations that could work. Several spots in singles are interchangeable,” Greenan said. “We needed a little spark, so I decided to change it up last week. I liked what I saw so I kept it the same.”

A player can only move up or down one spot in the lineup from meet to meet. One place that is not up for change, however, is Molnar’s No. 1 spot.

“She has proven herself as a clear No. 1,” Greenan said. “It’s been nice to look over to her court and see her in control. It’s exciting to see what she’s accomplished so far.

“Her confidence is growing, and she’s got a lot of good tennis ahead of her.”

Molnar, a freshman from Guelph, Ont., is ranked the No. 98 singles player nationally. She has a 9-1 record this spring, all at the top spot for the Hawkeyes. After joining the team in the middle of January, she was unsure what to expect as a collegiate player, but she has been a consistent force for Iowa.

She is happy with her record and current ranking but not satisfied.

“It’s a start, but it’s still low,” Molnar said. “I want to go up from there. But I didn’t expect to do this well right away.”

After six dual meets on the road, the Hawkeyes were excited to be back home for a pair. The coaching staff even decided to cut down on the weight training last week to rest some tired bodies and minds. The team is more than ready to put its feet up before it hosts Minnesota on March 1.

“We took it easy this week,” Molnar said. “It wasn’t so much that we were physically tired, but we were mentally exhausted from all the traveling. We’re not going anywhere for a while, so it’ll be nice to relax and have some free time.”


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