Iowa wins two over weekend

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

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The Iowa women’s tennis team secured two big victories at home over the weekend, and they are now 6-4 overall, 1-1 in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes started the weekend by earning their first Big Ten win on March 7 against conference-newcomer Rutgers.

Last week, head coach Katie Dougherty stressed the importance of playing great tennis from the very beginning of matches. After securing the doubles point, Iowa did exactly that.

In singles, senior Ellen Silver was a prime example of getting the job done early. She finished off the Scarlet Knights’ Farris Cunningham (6-0, 6-1) well before any other courts were clear.

Silver got the ball rolling, and Iowa won five out of the first six sets in singles.

“We got some momentum going after that,” Dougherty said. “To win five first sets was really good for us. We didn’t play our best tennis overall, but our intensity was excellent.”

Silver attributed her and the team’s quick start to a week of good practice.

“We were all really confident going into today, and it showed that we were ready to play,” she said.

In the match-clincher, fellow senior Morven McCulloch defeated Lindsey Kayati (6-3, 6-2). This gave Iowa its fourth and final point necessary to put a Rutgers comeback out of reach.

“It was really good to get that first Big Ten win under our belts,” McCulloch said. “We’re looking to have a 2-0 weekend. We’ve done half the job, and we’re looking to finish it off tomorrow.”

The final score of the Big Ten dual-match between Iowa and Rutgers was 6-1, Iowa.

And, just as McCulloch described, the team accomplished its goal of a 2-0 weekend on Sunday by conquering Kansas State in nonconference play, 4-1.

Freshman Anastasia Reimchen put on an exhibition Sunday in singles, defeating Kansas State’s Iva Bago (6-1, 6-0). The freshman did away with her opponent a considerable amount of time before any other matches were finished.

“[Reimchen] looked great today, didn’t she?” Dougherty said. “I think she had a pivotal match yesterday, picking up another win, and I think she really played some great tennis today. Her serve was fantastic.”

The final score of the day may have been 4-1, but when it was 3-1, there were still three matches being played. Two of those matches still in action had been pushed into very close third sets.

When it came down to that critical moment of Iowa needing someone to clinch for them, junior Annette Dohanics stepped up.

Dohanics’ match was went to a third set. The junior looked strong in the first, defeating Kansas State’s Livia Cirnu (6-2).

However, Cirnu answered with a victory of the same score (6-2).

Dohanics was down 1-3 in the middle of the third set. Despite being behind, she seemed to find new life from the energy of her teammates and fans, fighting her way back to even the set at 3.

The score was tied again at 4, but Dohanics leapt ahead in a charged display of competitiveness; finishing off Cirnu in the third set (6-4) and clinching the dual-match win for Iowa.

With two matches left unfinished, Iowa defeated Kansas State by a final score of 4-1.

“She’s been known to be a great clincher for us over the past couple years, and today was no different,” Dougherty said. “Whenever the team’s in a tight situation like that she does a great job. I’m proud of her.”

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

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