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No-Ad, no problem for Hawkeyes

BY IAN MURPHY | OCTOBER 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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No-ad scoring has been in use in Intercollegiate Tennis Association events this fall, and it could be used as the scoring method in the spring, but the Iowa women’s tennis team is not worried about the change.

No-ad scoring breaks from the traditional method of scoring by attempting to speed up matches. Essentially, when a game reaches a 40-40 tie, the next point wins.

According to the association website, the new scoring will add more excitement to the games and matches.

“It’s pretty tough because it’s like flipping a coin to see who’s going to win the game,” senior Morven McCulloch said.

The method of scoring was developed to speed up matches, and head coach Katie Dougherty said she knew there would be changes coming down the line.

The new method of scoring has been pushed from the tennis associations for a while, and the focus is on shortening the lengthy college tennis matches.

However, she and her players think they have adapted well to the new format.

“We’ve been practicing with it all fall and played with it now for two tournaments — you have to be gutsy,” Dougherty said.

She also stressed being able to hold a lead as something to focus on with the new system.

Dougherty noted the Hawkeyes have gotten themselves into trouble when they start to lose a lead of 40-15 or 30-love. She said this opens up a chance for the other player to get back in the game and eventually force a no-ad fourth point, a position she doesn’t want to she her players in.

When it comes down to that fourth point, Dougherty said, she and her players have to be ready to go.

McCulloch, along with fellow senior Katie Zordani, said the new format will bring added pressure on the court, but both feel they are ready for it.

“Some people think, ‘Oh gosh, like this point wins it or loses the game,’ ” McCulloch said “I just go for it — that’s how you get the point, if you keep attacking.”

For Zordani, the new style has taken some getting used to. Growing up, she said, she played ad scoring (the traditional method) for two out of three sets of her matches. For her, the transition was difficult at the beginning. However, she believes the team is prepared to face the competition with the new system.

The team has practiced two or three times a week with the new system, Zordani said. With that practice, the new system has started to become routine, she said, and she doesn’t think twice about the new format.

For Dougherty, the new scoring will be an opportunity for the team to win more matches. She told the team to embrace the new system.

“We’re going to learn how to play big points and step up when we need to,” she said. “If we’re a team that plays the no-ad points, well, we’re going to win a lot of matches.”

Follow @IanFromIowa on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s tennis team.


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