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Women's tennis dominant against Nebraska-Omaha, UNI

BY ALEC CLASEN | JANUARY 27, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Hawkeye women’s tennis team hit on all cylinders on Jan. 25 in the Hawkeye Tennis Recreation Complex. Iowa easily handled its first opponent, Nebraska-Omaha, and cruised to victory against Northern Iowa, beating both teams 7-0.

“It’s a good start for us,” head coach Katie Dougherty said. “At the beginning of the season there are always going to be nerves for various reasons.”

If the Hawkeyes were nervous, it sure didn’t show: They didn’t lose a single match all weekend and swept both of their opponents in all singles and doubles matches.

It was an especially important day for freshman Aimee Tarun, who made her début in the Iowa lineup against Nebraska-Omaha. She bested Lindsay Weideman (6-3, 6-3). 

After a team meal, the Hawks came back in strong form to face Northern Iowa in the evening. The No. 1 doubles combo of Ruth Seaborne and Morven McCulloch led the way for the rest of the team; the two displayed excellent teamwork and aggressiveness at the net.

In singles, Shelby Talcott’s resilience and aggressive play helped her in deploying a vast array of shots.

“My backhand was pretty effective. My serve, I was getting a lot of free points off of,” she said. “Being able to keep my forehand to her backhand seemed to be working pretty well, just not giving her that forehand angle.”

The most intense match of the day was between Caitlin Hindmarsh and Northern Iowa’s Astrid Santos. Because it was the last match played, it had the attention of all the fans and teammates. After losing the first set, Hindmarsh battled back and won the next two in a back-and-forth match (4-6, 6-3, 10-7).

“I was feeling it [the pressure] today,” Hindmarsh said. “The first match is always tough.”

Santos, a left-handed player, seemed to give Hindmarsh some matchup troubles.

“Sometimes, my strength plays into their strength when I play left handers … I really had to work hard to get out of the way of the ball,” Hindmarsh said.

“She’s a great competitor,” Dougherty said. “It’s her personality to fight to the end.”

Iowa is now to 8-0 all time against Northern Iowa.

“The results were good; we started the season 2-0,” Dougherty said after the matches. “Anytime we can get ourselves in a situation where our backs are against the wall and we can pull out of it, it’s going to be good.”

The Hawkeyes will travel to Norman, Okla., next weekend to take on two very good teams in Memphis and Oklahoma. Both are ranked in the top 35 and will be a good test for the Hawkeyes.

This past weekend was a good starting point for the Hawks, and they hope to continue.

“We will be going into next weekend playing very good teams with confidence,” Dougherty said.


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