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Hawks to face Purdue, Kansas

BY JOSH HICKS | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team is slated to host No. 21 Purdue on Saturday, its first contest in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes will then travel to Kansas to face the Jayhawks on March 2.

The all-time series against Purdue has gone back and forth over the years, and Iowa has a slight lead in victories, 25-23. The Hawks also have a bit of a history with Kansas, leading the all-time series 10-6, and thehy have won the last six meetings between the two.

It’s been awhile since Iowa and Kansas faced each other; the last meeting was during the 2009-10 season, Katie Dougherty’s first year as head coach. Iowa defeated Kansas, 6-1.

Kansas is coming off a match in which the Jayhawks played No. 68 Colorado and lost, 4-2.

No. 21 Purdue has had a big season thus far, besting No. 25 Tulsa early on and getting a victory against No. 54 Memphis in its most recent contest.

“This is just the type of competition we want to play,” Dougherty said. “You always want to play the best and see how you stack up.”

Iowa will be returning to the traditional advantage-style scoring system for Big Ten play against Purdue, with doubles being best two out of three games and eight-game pro-sets being played for singles.

Against nonconference opponent Kansas, the Hawks will change it up; they will play no-ad scoring, doubles matches will be one game, and singles will be best two out of three games.

“I’m excited to see how we make the turnaround from one scoring format to another,” she said. “We’re going to have to be mentally tough.”

The Hawkeyes are finishing up a long stint of practice, having not played since Feb. 20. The team is full of high-energy and focus right now.

“We were fortunate to have a weekend off last weekend,” Dougherty said. “Our volume’s been really high in practice in this week.”

Her enthusiasm has carried over to her players.

“I’m excited.” freshman Zoe Douglas said. “We’ve had a good week in practice, and I have a lot of energy coming out of that weekend off.”

Douglas is undefeated in singles play this year, as is junior Annette Dohanics. Dohanics has won her last 10 matches at the No. 5 spot in singles and hasn’t lost at No. 5 since the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.

“We’re feeling confident, and we know we have a great opportunity to get a ranked win,” Dohanics said. “It’s been a nice change to have a couple extra days of practice; we’ve had some great energy this week.”

The action against Purdue will begin at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex at 11 a.m.

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


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