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Iowa's Seaborne earns first ranking of season before doubleheader

BY MICHAEL MAIENZA | FEBRUARY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team appreciated the five-day gap between matches this week as the players gear up for a double-header Saturday. The Hawkeyes will start the matches at 11 a.m. at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex as they take on Drake, then hit the courts once more at 3:30 p.m. to face Western Illinois.

“Drake is a good team; [the Bulldogs] have a good coach, and they are young.” Iowa head coach Katie Dougherty said. “In-state rivals are very important, and one of our goals this year is to be perfect in state, and we’ve beat Iowa State, so if we come out with a win on Saturday against Drake, then we’ll have knocked down one of our goals.”

If the Hawkeyes are able to accomplish their goal of keeping a perfect record against in state rivals (the team beat Iowa State, 6-1, on Jan. 26), then it will be no surprise if junior Ruth Seaborne continues her impressive play. The native of London, England, is on fire this season, dominating her opponents and sporting a 4-0 record, including wins over two ranked opponents. Her stellar performance has not gone unnoticed — the junior splashed into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings this week at No. 123.

“I feel like I am playing with a lot of confidence right now,” she said. “I don’t know the last time I’ve won this many matches in a row, so that’s definitely good for the confidence and momentum as well. Definitely a good springboard for this weekend’s matches.”

Seaborne’s progression throughout the season is a main reason the Black and Gold are creating a buzz on the courts this season.

“Ruth is getting better every week.” Dougherty said. “The player she beat from DePaul this past weekend beat her in two sets this fall. We are seeing improvement there, and it’s tangible now that she can see those jumps, and she’s just getting better every week, and she making her teammates better too.”

Another Hawkeye playing well recently is junior Christina Harazin. Not only is she sporting a 3-0 record in the month of February, she also posted an impressive win this past weekend in knocking off a ranked opponent, No. 119 Jarret Fisher of DePaul. After the momentum-building win, Harazin is anxious to get back on the courts, but she knows it will be a little different being a double-header.

“Well obviously, this weekend is a little different having a double-header — having two matches in one day,” she said. “We haven’t had this since I’ve been here, so I’m excited to see how we’ll do.”

This weekend’s double-header is the Hawkeyes’ only one for the rest of the year, and both the players and coaches are excited about the rare opportunity. Not only does it provide the players the chance to get in an extra match, it also allows the team to rest a player and try new out new doubles pairings.

“We’ll rest a player; it gives us an opportunity to see different doubles teams and different players in different spots and roles,” Dougherty said. “We have eight players in six spots, so it won’t be a huge change.”


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