Hawkeyes gear up for two road conference matches

BY MIKE MAIENZA | APRIL 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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The University of Iowa women’s tennis team has two conference matches this weekend, as it hits the road to take on the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines.

The Hawkeyes play Michigan State at 11 A.M. Saturday, and then take on the Wolverines of Michigan on Sunday, also at 11.

The squad is looking for a bounce back performance after dropping both of its matches last weekend. As every team in the Big Ten knows, there are no easy conference matches. Michigan State is a competitive squad, and Michigan, at No. 7, is a top ten team in the country.

One player for the Hawkeyes that has been an anchor for the team all season is junior Ruth Seaborne. Sunday’s matchup against Michigan provides a great opportunity for her to prove herself against top-level competition. Seaborne and her doubles partner, Morven McCulloch, have put together an impressive season, earning the No.48 ranking in doubles, but will be put to a test as the Michigan doubles team they’ll likely face is ranked No.2 in the country. Seaborne also faces another challenge as the Wolverines No.1 singles player is ranked No.28.

Seaborne said she is excited about her upcoming matches, and thinks the key to knocking off highly skilled opponents is approaching the match the same as she does for every other match.

“[I will approach Michigan] the same as it is with every match,” Seaborne said. “It doesn’t matter who I play, I am just going to focus on my game and believe that I am good enough to get the win”

Seaborne is currently ranked No.98 in singles, and has been playing well of late. She went on to said she feels confident heading into the weekend and is eager to take the court.

“I am looking to continue to stay aggressive, keep looking to come into the court like I have been and like I did in my matches against Notre Dame, Illinois, and Northwestern. If I can do that and stay and keep executing I think I have a pretty good chance this weekend.” Seaborne said.

Another player the Hawkeyes need to play well this weekend is sophomore Shelby Talcott. Talcott has been dominating the courts lately, and the team hopes the hot streak continues this weekend.

“I think I am playing a lot better than the beginning of the season,” Talcott said. “I’m playing a lot more consistent from match to match, and coming out ready to go from the start.”

The players are ready for a weekend set of matches thanks to a week of efficient practices and focusing on keeping the points alive.

Junior Christina Harazin said her focus for this weekend is keeping the point alive and outlasting her opponent on the court.

“We have been working on a consistency and a lot of grooving, just trying to make sure we are ready for some long points.”

Confidence is key for the Hawkeyes, and in order to accomplish its goals this weekend, they need to come in to both matches this feeling they can come home with two victories.

“The biggest thing for us this weekend is coming out on the court and competing and believing in ourselves,” Talcott said. “We can do it, it’s just a matter of showing up on both days.”

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