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Iowa women's tennis falls at home to Michigan State

BY ALEC CLASEN | MARCH 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team failed to close out its match with Michigan State Sunday, losing to the Spartans, 5-2, at home.

After a stellar performance from the Hawkeye doubles teams, Iowa fell short in singles, handing Michigan State the win. In their first outdoor home match of the spring season, the Hawkeyes started with a bang in doubles, stealing the point away from the Spartans in impressive fashion.

“I thought doubles was excellent,” head coach Katie Dougherty said after the meet.

Singles, however, is when the wheels began to fall off for the Hawks, with almost every player dropping her first set brcause of errant play. After digging themselves into such a deep hole, frustration began to set in for a few Hawkeyes.

“We played five sloppy first sets,” Dougherty said. “We didn’t put ourselves in position to win those matches.”

Senior Ruth Seaborne slammed her racket, mumbling to herself in disgust, after numerous volleys didn’t go her way. Her opponent, Marina Bohrer, was extremely agile throughout the match and slid to a stop to catch just about everything Seaborne threw at her.

“I was trying to get her to move around and so I could open up space and get her out of position,” Seaborne said.

Seaborne, who ended up winning her very long singles match in a tiebreaker set, was one of the few good moments for the Hawks on Sunday. Despite playing outdoors, Mother Nature had little effect on the conditions of the meet. However, strong gusts of wind throughout the matches did affect play. 

“Well, with the conditions today, like the wind blowing, you need to give yourself a large margin for error,” Seaborne said.

Both Seaborne and her opponent committed several unforced erors, and the match went back and forth throughout. Because Bohrer was playing defensively at the back of the court for most of the match, Seaborne was forced to adjust her game slightly and play a little less aggressively.

“There were a lot of ups and downs, even in that last set,” Dougherty said. “Ruth did a fantastic job to close that out, and that’s a fantastic match for her,”

With the weather being less then perfect, both teams were forced to adjust during the meet.
“Both of us had the exact same conditions,” junior Morven McCulloch said. “You just have to not think about that and just think about the things that you can control.”

The Hawks have now lost five straight, with three of those losses coming at home. With its next four matches on the road, Iowa will need to refocus and recharge.

“We’ve got to have some great practices,” Dougherty said. “The team has to be resilient, and do everything we ask, make that commitment with themselves. We’re a good team; we just haven’t shown it in the past couple matches, and we need to get back to that.”


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