Women's tennis to host Nebraska on Sunday

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

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The Iowa women’s tennis team is set to host Nebraska in a conference dual match on Sunday win action commencing at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex at 3:00 p.m.

The Hawkeyes (7-7, 1-3) have come-up short in their last two matches. Iowa lost to Drake on Wednesday 4-3, and prior to that the Hawks fell to Indiana on March 22 by the same score.

“We’re just looking to play one match at a time,” freshman Zoe Douglas said.

Iowa head coach Katie Dougherty has talked a lot about the importance of coming-out strong and winning the doubles point this season. In both of those duals the Hawkeyes were able to secure the ever-crucial doubles point, but were then unable to capitalize on that advantage in singles play.

Coming into this weekend, Iowa holds an all-time 16-7 advantage against Nebraska in the series.

“They’re a familiar team that we know a lot about,” senior Ellen Silver said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Last year the dual match was a success for Iowa, as they were riding a four-game win streak when they played Nebraska. They won, 6-1, to make it their fifth in a row.

Nebraska currently sits at 12-5 overall, but is struggling in the Big Ten this season as their 0-4 conference record shows. After starting off the season 11-1, they dropped four conference matches in a row and only got back on track by narrowly beating 3-13 Loyola Marymount on Wednesday.

With both teams struggling, comparisons can be drawn between the two. In fact, both fell to conference opponent Indiana by the same score — 4-3.

“They’ve had a couple tough 4-3 losses this season,” Dougherty said. “Everybody in the Big Ten is tough; anybody can beat anybody.”

Nebraska has maintained continuity in their top-3 spots this season as junior Maggy Lehmicke, senior Izabella Zgierska and sophomore Mary Hannah have been the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 for Nebraska every dual match this season, respectively.

Senior Shelby Talcott holds an impressive 10-3 record at the No. 1 spot for the Hawkeyes, and she’ll look to improve upon that against Nebraska’s Lehmicke.

Despite losing two in a row in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes still hold a winning record of 5-4 at home.

Dougherty spoke on the keys to securing a victory in what looks to be a pivotal match for the Hawkeyes this season.

“Our strong play in doubles needs to continue, and we need come out competing and executing much better in singles,” the sixth-year head coach said.

“We’re going to need a good start and a good finish. We need to get four points.”

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

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