Women's tennis to take on 15th ranked Michigan at home

BY ALEC CLASEN | MARCH 28, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team will take on the 15th-ranked Michigan Wolverines at 3 p.m. at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center.

Michigan is arguably the toughest opponent Iowa has faced so far this season; a win for the team would be a huge turnaround for the Hawks who are struggling as of late, having lost their last three matches.

“Well, we’ve lost three in a row, but we will have Zordani back in the lineup tomorrow which will be a big help in both singles and doubles,” head coach Katie Dougherty said.

The Hawkeyes now sit at 1-2 in conference play, after falling to Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is the first time the Hawkeyes have lost three in a row this season.

Michigan is currently stuck in a three-way tie with Minnesota and Northwestern for the number one spot in the Big Ten, with a record of 3-0 in conference play. They boast an impressive 11-3 record overall.

“Michigan is very very strong,” Dougherty said. “They are just loaded with talent.”

Even with the immense talent the Wolverines bring to the table, the Hawks are not afraid. With an impressive home record of 5-2 this season, Iowa enters the match with plenty of guarded confidence.

“We’ve got nothing to lose,” Dougherty said. “We’re going to come out swinging were going to make them play one more ball and we’re going to try to hang in there and put ourselves in a good position.”

Iowa has had a sour history with the Wolverines. They haven’t defeated Michigan since the 2006 regular season. Later that year, Michigan knocked Iowa out of the Big Ten Tournament, which was the beginning of a common trend. Michigan also sent Iowa packing in 2008, 2010, and 2013.

Michigan currently boasts four ranked players on its squad, with three players already over 20 wins on the season lead by the ninth-ranked singles player Emina Bektas.

The Friday matchup is sure to be top heavy, as both teams are lead by their respective No. 1 and No. 2 doubles seeds. Iowa’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds own a combined record of 20-7 while Michigan’s No. 1 and No. 2 doubles seeds have a record of 23-3.

Even though a big time team is rolling into town the Hawkeyes will stick to the motto that has resonated with the team throughout the year, no matter who the opponent.

“Every day is a new opportunity, every match is a new opportunity for us to get better and to pick up a win,” Dougherty said.

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