Nebraska pulls off impressive win over Iowa women's tennis

BY MIKE MAIENZA | MARCH 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team lost its Big Ten opener Tuesday afternoon to No. 10 Nebraska, 7-0. The Hawkeyes weren’t able to garner a team point but did show plenty of promise against a tough Cornhusker squad.

Three of the singles matches went to a third set tiebreaker, and the Hawkeyes were leading one match in the doubles point before it was abandoned because the Cornhuskers won the other two doubles points.

One player who struggled to find her groove early was Iowa’s No. 2 singles player, sophomore Shelby Talcott. After losing the first set (6-1), Talcott rediscovered her stroke to take the second set from her opponent (6-4) before ultimately losing in a third-set tiebreaker (10-7).

“I think staying focused; a lot of times if I come out in the first game and play really well, I tend to relax and tend to cool off,” Talcott said. “The big thing for me in the second set was focusing on making a lot of balls, where as in the first set that wasn’t my focus.”

The Black and Gold’s No. 1 singles player Ruth Seaborne found herself up against reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, Cornhusker senior Mary Weatherholt, who is also the No. 16 player in the country. Seaborne played well against her opponent — the Hawkeye forced a third-set tiebreaker but lost in the end (7-5, 5-7, 10-5).

Pushing the Big Ten Player of the Year is no small task, and Weatherholt was impressed with what she saw on the courts today from the Hawkeyes.

“They definitely brought it, but we knew they were a tough team and they were going to bring their best,” Weatherholt said. “They came out playing really well, so we just tried to hang in there and pull through in the matches. We knew they were good, and they were.”

One positive the Hawkeyes will take from the day is the continued solid play from their doubles team of sophomore Morven McCulloch and Seaborne, who are ranked No. 42 nationally. Their opponents — Patricia Veresova and Weatherholt, who are ranked No. 13 nationally — provided a stifling test.

The Black and Gold duo were leading Nebraska’s No. 1 doubles team (7-5) before the match was abandoned because the Cornhuskers’ No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams clinched the doubles point.

Iowa women’s tennis head coach Katie Dougherty thought her team played well, but she was disappointed with the results. The loss marks another missed opportunity for the Hawkeyes.

“This was a close match,” Dougherty said. “Look at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4, we took them all to three sets. We had some different combinations out there today in doubles. We competed well, and they are a very good team. You know why they are a top ten team in the country, and they proved that today.”

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