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Hawkeyes drop heartbreaker to #18 Irish

BY MIKE MAIENZA | FEBRUARY 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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Stakes were high as both teams cheered on the third set match between Hawkeye sophomore Katie Zordani and Notre Dame senior Chrissie McGaffigan; in what turned out to be the decisive match between the Hawkeyes and the No. 18 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

After battling back from being down a set, Zordani was on serve at 4-5. She ultimately dropped the game — one in which she was able to save 6 match points. The loss gave the Irish their fourth and final point as they escaped the Hawkeyes to win the meet 4-3.

Being so close against top competition, and not coming up with the victory hurts especially, when the victory was within reach as five of the six matches went 3 sets.

Iowa women’s tennis head coach Katie Dougherty said that this loss stings especially because all but one match went three sets, making for particularly close tennis.

“You know this stings, we had five three setters and could only come up with one,” Dougherty said. “We played well to put ourselves in that position and then to get that close and not to convert. The past two weeks we talked about knowing that we should beat a team like this.”

While the loss certainly leaves a bitter taste in the team’s mouth, the squad walks away with a few positives to keep in mind.

Hawkeye junior Ruth Seaborne had a dominant day on the court as she helped the team earn the double’s point with her partner Morven McCulloch — the duo battled back after trailing 1-5, eventually winning 8-6.

Seaborne also had an authoritative win at the No. 1 singles match, disposing of her opponent — No. 58-ranked Britney Sanders (6-2, 6-3). Seaborne looked as though she carried the momentum from her doubles win into her match, and said the doubles win gave her assurance leading to her singles bout.

“I think it did for all of us,” Seaborne said of her and McCulloch’s doubles win. “Getting the dubs win was huge for us. Last semester we weren’t too hot in doubles so I think that’s a huge positive for the team and that definitely gave me confidence going into my singles match”

Another bright spot for the Hawkeyes was Christina Harazin, as she picked up one of the team’s 3 points. The junior fought through a tough 3-setter and came up huge for the Hawkeyes, as the upperclassman kept her composure to dispose of her opponent.

“I was definitely a little nervous, I’m not going to lie,” Harazin said. “A little shaky, but I just really wanted to play for the team and I just had fun out there and came through and played my own game.”

While the Black and Gold certainly wanted to walk away with the upset, Dougherty said she knows this is a growing experience for her team.

“You take away knowing that you can compete at this level with a top 20 team like [Notre Dame],” Dougherty said. “They beat [No. 25] Tennessee yesterday, they have beaten a number of very good teams, and we were right there with them.”


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