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Women’s tennis improves to 3-0 over weekend

BY JOSH HICKS | FEBRUARY 09, 2015 5:00 AM

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It was a huge weekend for the Iowa women’s tennis team.

The Hawks had two home matches in three days, defeating Iowa State, 4-1, on Feb. 6, and Utah State, 6-1, on Sunday. The wins improve the Hawkeyes’ regular season record to 3-0.

In the matchup against Iowa State, the Hawkeyes secured the doubles point quickly. Junior Annette Dohanics and senior Shelby Talcott collected the night’s first win in the No. 1 doubles slot against Samantha Budai and Ksenia Pronina (6-3).

Minutes after Dohanics and Talcott’s victory, senior Morven McCulloch and freshman Anastasia Reimchen won their match against Meghan Cassens and Ana Gasparovic (6-3).

This win gave the Hawkeyes the doubles point, and freshman Zoe Douglas and senior Katie Zordani’s doubles match was left unfinished.

“It made a huge difference coming out and getting that doubles point and setting the tone,” head coach Katie Dougherty said.

In singles play, Reimchen was the first to finish. Playing at the No. 2 slot, she had her opponent slamming her racket on the court in frustration and made quick work of Iowa State’s Budai (6-4, 6-3).

The next point was scored by the Cyclones and shortened the Hawks’ lead to 2-1.

But the overall victory went to the Hawks when Talcott and McCulloch locked up victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 spots in singles. Talcott defeated Pronina (6-4, 6-3), and McCulloch defeated Cassens (6-4, 6-3).

McCulloch’s match was intense. In the first set, the senior was up 3-0 and Cassens battled back to a score of 3-3 and then 4-4 before McCulloch finished her off.

The second set was similar. McCulloch got off to an early 3-0 lead, and once again, Cassens tied it at 3. The senior from Scotland commended Cassens on her play and said it’s always tough to beat someone who sticks with it like that.

“Once I had that 4-3 game, I knew that was it” McCulloch said. “I’d broken her. It was my serve, and I just had to go for it.”

In the No. 1 doubles match against Utah State, Talcott and Dohanics routed Kallie Sperry and Meghan Lyall (6-1). Reimchen and McCulloch lost their match (6-3), but the Hawkeyes won the doubles point with the senior/freshman duo of Katie Zordani and Zoe Douglas defeating Sabrina Demerath and Nini Guensler (6-3).

“I’m pleased with how we competed,” Dougherty said. “We had a tough doubles point, but it was good see Zordani and Douglas pull that one out for us.”

In singles play, Dohanics finished her match first, allowing only 3 points and defeating Demerath (6-1, 6-2).

McCulloch finished next, competing at the No. 3 spot and defeating Maggie O’Meara (6-4, 6-3). Zordani defeated Sperry (6-2, 6-4), and Silver defeated Lyall (6-4, 6-0).

Talcott, playing at No. 1, finished last and defeated Utah State’s Davis (7-6, 6-3).

After the match, Zordani revealed that the Hawkeyes four words they use as a mantra. She said the entire team brought all four words over the weekend.

“We have four words that we always try to bring. I think they helped carry us to a win today. Fighter, present, hungry, and confidence, those are our words,” the senior said.

Follow @joshhicks90 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s tennis team.


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