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Hawkeye women's tennis breaks out the brooms

BY MICHAEL MAIENZA | FEBRUARY 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team swept both matches of its double-header in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex on Feb. 16, defeating Drake, 7-0, and then taking care of business against Western Illinois, 7-0.

The squad looked impressive on the courts, and each player appeared to be full of confidence. In the second match of the afternoon the Hawkeyes played so well that they won all of their singles matches while shutting out their opponents (6-0, 6-0). Junior Ruth Seaborne won her match while being a newly ranked player — she cracked the rankings this past week at No. 123.

“We rebounded well from a tough loss last weekend,” Iowa head tennis coach Katie Dougherty said. “Being able to take away good things even from a loss. Drake is a good team, and they are tricky at spots. We did a good job of maintaining our level and playing our game. I always tell these guys that when you compete the way you do, good things are going to happen, and that’s what happened today.”

The double-header provided the team the opportunity to shuffle the lineup and try different players at different positions in the rotation. The team sat usual No.1 singles player Seaborne for the second match’s singles competition, but doubles partner Morven McCulloch played a total of four matches on the day. She was clearly up for the challenge — she shut her opponent out but did say the double-header is a bit different from a usual meet.

“I mean it’s tough, with your body and mentally,” the St. Andrews, Scotland native said. “It’s a lot easier coming off a win, but four matches in one day is a lot. After those matches I take away a lot of confidence. Ruth and I played really well in doubles, just dominated across the net really, and pushed forward whenever we could. And in my singles first set, I played well using all my shots to my advantage.”

Hawkeye sophomore Shelby Talcott played well on the day and was able to find her rhythm in her first match. She won the first set against her Drake opponent in Lea Kozulic (7-5) and then put her away with ease in the second set (6-0).

“I think the first set I was playing really tight, and it was hard to get a rhythm against her,” Talcott said. “And then I ended up pulling out the first set.”

The Hawkeyes will try to build on momentum from the victory when they play Oklahoma on Friday and then Marquette on Saturday. The team’s victories from this past weekend have the Hawkeyes feeling confident about their upcoming matches, and that confidence is visible on the courts.

“It’s really good for us — especially once we are going into a Big Ten match,” Talcott said. “Because they are all really good teams, and if we have the confidence from going on a winning streak, it will really help us.”


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