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Women's tennis looks forward to getting back on the court

BY ALEC CLASEN | FEBRUARY 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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After a little break from competition, the Iowa women’s tennis team is set to face off against Missouri Kansas City at 3:30 p.m. today.

With no matches last week, the Hawkeyes were free to hone their craft on the practice courts.

“We had a long week of practice, so we’ve been playing points, competing against each other, just fine-tuning everything,” junior Shelby Talcott said.

Talcott, who has been perhaps the most consistent performer for the Hawks in 2014, is 3-0 in her last three matches playing at the third singles.

The Hawkeyes hope that practice makes perfect after ample time to work on skill-oriented drills and various doubles work. The week of practice prior to their match came at a crucial time in their season.

“We always have things we need to work on to prepare for the next match,” freshman Aimee Tarun said. “It’s good when we have time off so we can work on things on the practice court.”

Their short hiatus from competition seems to have provided some extra motivation for the Hawks for their matchup against the Kangaroos.

“It’s always great to have a focus week of practice,” head coach Katie Dougherty said. “I think the team is itching to play and get out and compete again.”

With this proving to be a match of extreme importance, the Hawkeyes are keen on not overlooking their competition. The Roos’ record of 4-7 doesn’t necessarily reflect their potential and skill, Dougherty said.

“[Missouri-Kansas City has] played a pretty tough schedule, and looks to me from their scores that they’ve been getting better,” she said. “We don’t take anyone lightly.”

Just like their head coach, the Hawkeyes don’t see Missouri-Kansas City as a light team — they are taking this match very seriously.

“We prepared for tomorrow like we’ve prepared for DePaul and everyone else,” Dougherty said.

Despite that attitude Missouri Kansas City is on the decline. After a school record 3-0 start to their 2014 campaign, the Kangaroos have fallen on hard times, losing seven of their last eight meets, with their lone win coming against Lewis-Clarke State — then the No. 10 team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

This meet is just another rung in the ladder to conference play for the Hawkeyes. With Big Ten competition on the horizon, a good home win would be great momentum for the team.

“Obviously our goal is to get better every match, and this is another opportunity for us,” Dougherty said.


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