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Iowa women's tennis to host Rutgers, Kansas State

BY JOSH HICKS | MARCH 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team is slated for two home games this weekend.

Iowa is coming off a four-game losing streak, which has put its record at 4-4. The team is 3-2 at home and 0-1 in the conference.

The Hawks are set to host Rutgers on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Kansas State on March 8 at 12 p.m.

“We’re definitely looking to get a 2-0 weekend this weekend,” junior Annette Dohanics said. “Coming-off a couple close losses is always tough, but we’re hungry and we’re looking to get both wins this weekend.”

This will be the first ever meeting for the women’s tennis team against new Big Ten foe Rutgers, which joined the conference at the beginning of 2014.

Rutgers is coming off a 4-3 win over Navy and currently holds a 5-3 record. The Scarlet Knights will also be gunning for their first Big Ten win in the dual against the Hawks.

Kansas State hasn’t played a dual-match since Feb. 21 when it defeated Colorado State 7-0. Kansas State’s current record is 5-6 overall.

Seniors Shelby Talcott and Morven McCulloch have been tearing-it-up for Iowa in recent singles matches.

McCulloch has recently moved into the No. 2 singles position and won two out of her last three matches in that spot. The senior is 11-11 all-time at No. 2.

Talcott is having a great season so far, going 6-2 at the No. 1 singles spot. This is her first time competing at No. 1 singles since 2013 when she saw two matches at the position and won both, going 2-0.

As for Iowa’s recent string of losses, the coaching staff and team are only looking ahead to the weekend.

“We’ve played a good schedule and we’ve run up against some good teams and come-up short,” head coach Katie Dougherty said. “You have to rip-off the rear view mirror at this point in the season.”

The sixth-year head coach said the goal is go 2-0 this weekend and pick-up that first, ever-important Big Ten win.

She said she couldn’t attribute the recent losses to anything specific.

“We’ve been tweaking things in practice a little bit, but we need to get a better start in doubles and singles,” Dougherty said. “We’re going to have to jump on these guys early and execute.”

The players seem share Dougherty’s mindset. They’re not looking behind, but forward. Their desire to win, competitiveness, and confidence seem to have diminished very little over the last two weeks.

“All of the past four matches have been really close,” senior Katie Zordani said. “Now it’s our time to win one and come-out on top. We’ve just got to win a few more extra points in the sets, and we know we can do that.”

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


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