Iowa wins against Nebraska, 4-3

BY JOSH HICKS | MARCH 30, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s tennis team won a pivotal match Sunday, 4-3, at home against Nebraska to secure its second conference win of the year. The lineup was a little shaken-up, as No. 1 singles player Shelby Talcott was sidelined with an injury.

No comment was made on the details of the injury from head coach Katie Dougherty. Talcott was at the match supporting her team, despite having her foot in an air cast.

The Hawkeyes (8-7, 2-3) had dropped two matches before coming up against Nebraska (12-6, 0-5).

The doubles point was not easily won. The team of senior Katie Zordani and freshman Zoe Douglas lost to Nebraska’s Maggy Lehmicke and Lisa Andersson at the No. 2 slot (8-4).

Soon after, Iowa’s No. 1 duo of Morven McCulloch and Annette Dohanics defeated the Cornhuskers’ Mary Hanna and Izabella Zgierska (8-4).

The weight then fell on the shoulders of freshman Anastasia Reimchen and sophomore Aimee Tarun at the No. 3 doubles spot. This was the first time the two had ever paired together in doubles play.

Their match against Nebraska’s Katerina Matysova and Mackenna Maddox started-off with a first game that lasted nearly twenty minutes.

After that, the score was back and forth until reaching 6-6. Tarun and Reimchen then pulled ahead to win the doubles point (8-6), and give the Black & Gold the lead against Big Red going into singles play, 1-0.

“That was a sophomore and a freshman who have never played together,” Dougherty said. “They did a great job. Under pressure, they were rock solid.”

Tarun hasn’t seen any action since the preseason during late October when she went 4-0 at the Drake Bulldog Duals. She was inured during much of the early season and hadn’t seen any action in the regular season lineup until Sunday.

“It was tight the whole time, but we just stayed positive and tried to have fun,” the sophomore said. “We got the job done and got the doubles point.”

In Iowa’s last two matches, they won the doubles point yet failed to capitalize in singles play. Dougherty stressed the importance of winning first sets in singles after the loss to in-state rival Drake on March 25.

The Hawkeyes looked good in singles against Nebraska, winning three of the first sets.

Senior Morven McCulloch stepped in at the No. 1 spot, in place of the injured Talcott, and handled Nebraska’s Lehmicke with ease and grace (6-4, 6-2).

Reimchen jumped from the No. 3 singles spot to No. 2. She finished her match after McCulloch, defeating Zgierska (6-4, 6-4) to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.

“We talked about starting stronger in singles,” Dougherty said. We were able to do that at three spots — Anastasia really stepped up for us at No. 2.”

With four matches still being played, the Hawkeyes only needed one more win to secure the victory over Nebraska. Iowa lost the first on three of those courts.

On court No. 6, though, Douglas won her first set and was slowly working at clinching the win for Iowa. She defeated Nebraska’s Maddox (6-4, 6-4).

“I’m really proud of Zoe,” Dougherty said.

Douglas seemed elated after the match.

“This is the first time I’ve had a big win,” the freshman said. “It feels great. I wasn’t really paying attention to the other courts. I think that probably helped. I didn’t put too much pressure on myself. I just kept fighting and doing what I was doing.”

Douglas secured the victory then and there. However, Iowa lost the remainder of its matches, making the final score a 4-3 victory.

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

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