Women’s tennis falls short against Purdue


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The Iowa women’s tennis team came one point shy of upsetting the No. 58 squad in the country on Sunday. The Hawkeyes fell to Purdue, 4-3, at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation and Complex, dropping their season record to 5-10, 2-2 in Big Ten play.

“We came out a little flat, and we had a little bit of bad luck, but bottom line, they were better than we were today,” head coach Katie Dougherty said.

The Hawkeyes have struggled to claim the doubles point this season, but after their No. 3 pair of senior Lynne Poggensee-Wei and junior Ally Majercik won their match, Iowa looked poised to take doubles. However, the 46th-ranked duo of senior Jessica Young and junior Sonja Molnar unexpectedly faltered and were defeated by Purdue’s No. 38 duo, 8-3.

“Honestly, I just think they were a better doubles team than we were today,” Molnar said. “I don’t know about any other day, but we did not play our best, we didn’t play badly, they just played well and deserved the win.”

When it came to singles, Iowa fought hard to get back into the match. Battling with Anna Dushkina, senior Alexis Dorr jumped out to a slim lead in the first set, 7-5. In the second set, it wasn’t the same result. Dorr fell, 6-1.

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“I just tried to be more aggressive,” Dorr said. “[I tried to] go for more shots to finish the match quicker. It didn’t work, so I had to go back to the way I played in the first set.”

The strategy worked as Dorr fought off a late rally by Dushkina and ended up winning in the final set, 6-4.

Young also played a back-and-forth match with Purdue’s No. 2 singles player, Bhavani Tirumurti. Young emerged as the victor after the heated competition (6-4, 7-5); she now owns a 4-0 record in Big Ten singles play.

“[Young and Dorr] are both seniors, they are doing all the right things during the week and on the weekends,” Dougherty said. “They are preparing very well and it is showing out there.”

Molnar took care of business in singles as she defeated Jennifer Rabot (6-0, 6-0). Molnar, ranked No. 101 nationally, worked quickly.

“[Molnar had a] good week of practice,” Dougherty said. “She played great doubles yesterday and a great singles match. She played well. If you give Sonja a couple errors and some confidence, she can shut the door on you pretty quick, and she did that today.”

Fifteen mph winds with gusts up to 25 seemed to play a minor role in the matches’ outcomes.

“I just dealt with the wind today,” Molnar said. “[Rabot] has a really big serve, and obviously, the wind will affect a serve like that. If you are aiming for the lines you are going to miss with the wind. That is not what I was doing, and that was more of what she was doing. She made a lot of mistakes, and that is what you are going to find with the wind.”

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