Hawks set to face No. 33 Oklahoma


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The Iowa women’s tennis team is slated to host No. 33 Oklahoma this afternoon. Play will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.

Iowa traveled to Oregon last weekend for two matches. The Hawks defeated Montana, 6-1, and lost a nail-biter to host Oregon, 4-3.  

As of now, the Hawkeyes’ record stands at a mighty 4-1 in the regular season. The Hawkeyes feel confident about their bout against Oklahoma now that they have been back from last weekend’s matches for a few days and have been able to prepare at home.

“It’s going to be good to be back on our home courts,” head coach Katie Dougherty said.

In last season’s meeting between the two, Iowa traveled to Oklahoma and lost, 6-1. Oklahoma was ranked higher then, the Iowa team was one year younger, and half of Oklahoma’s roster has since graduated.

Oklahoma is, however, coming off an impressive weekend that included wins over two Intercollegiate Tennis Association top-40 opponents.

The stark contrast between the Hawkeyes and the Sooners is experience at the college level.

Oklahoma has freshmen at their No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, and No. 6 positions in singles; Iowa will have four seniors playing in their singles lineup: Shelby Talcott, Morven McCulloch, Katie Zordani, and Ellen Silver.  

The senior presence on the team and the confidence that abounds from that presence is inspiring. The Hawks are determined to scratch out a victory over the young Oklahoma team.

“To face a great team like Oklahoma at home is a huge advantage,” Dougherty said.

The Hawks don’t denying that Oklahoma is a great team, but they don’t falter in their confidence, either.

“Oklahoma is a strong, aggressive team,” Zordani said. “But these are our courts, and we have the advantage of being at home.”

The confidence from the players continues on down the line. Everyone on the roster is looking at this as a chance for victory. This team is going to be out for blood tonight.

“I’m excited,” Talcott said. “They’re always a good team and that makes it a good opportunity for us, especially playing at home.”

Dougherty is ready for the team to make an impact on their home courts. She’s confident the Hawkeyes are ready to play at the apex of their capability, and she believes that they have the moxie and passion necessary to win points and finish opponents.

“I’m really pleased with where the team is right now both physically and mentally,” she said. “We have nothing to lose. We’ve got to go for it.”

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

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