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Iowa women’s tennis prepped for trip to Minneapolis

BY IAN MURPHY | SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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Changes to the Gopher Invitational will mean changes all weekend for the Iowa women’s tennis team.

Rather than a traditional doubles tournament played over the three-day weekend, each day of the Gopher Invitational will feature a unique doubles draw played out before singles play begins for the day.

Head coach Katie Dougherty said the new format will allow the team to explore different combinations.

“The format is such that we’re going to get an opportunity to see a bunch of new doubles teams,” she said, and she plans to use different combinations.

“We’ll get to flip them around a little bit,” Dougherty said.

Today’s three pairings include senior Morven McCulloch and junior Annette Dohanics, seniors Shelby Talcott and Katie Zordani, and senior Ellen Silver and freshman Montana Crawford. 

For singles play, the tournament consists of five brackets, Talcott and McCulloch will compete in the in the Minnesota Flight Singles, Dohanics and Zordani will compete in the Gopher Flight Singles, Silver will be in the Maroon Flight singles bracket, and Crawford will be in the Gold Flight Singles.

Sophomore Aimee Tarun and Freshman Anastasia Reimchen are not listed on today’s doubles bracket or on the singles brackets.

Among the 11 other teams competing are Northern Iowa, Drake, and Iowa State.

Other teams include Northern Illinois University, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota, Eastern Michigan, and Kentucky.

The Hawkeyes have been successful in recent years at the fall tournament. Last year, McCulloch and now-graduated Ruth Seaborne finished second in the traditional doubles tournament, although McCulloch wasn’t pleased with the outcome.

“We should have gotten first,” she said.

In 2012, Dohanics won the Maroon Singles Flight title, going undefeated. 

Between the doubles and singles, Dougherty said the season-opening tournament will be a chance for the players to show the work they’ve put in this summer and fall.

“It allows us to put the competing piece in,” Dougherty said.

It will also give the Crawford a chance to compete at the college level right away.

“The fall is about development for us,” Dougherty said. “Our goal is to be playing our best tennis on the Sunday of every tournament.”

The Hawkeyes look forward to having the freshmen travel with them.

“I’m looking forward to competing with the entire team, especially the freshmen,” Zordani said. “It’s a good way to show myself and the team and what we’ve been working for. The off-season, where we compete individually but as a team, definitely helps us become stronger.”


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