Iowa fails to win over weekend, drops to Minnesota, Wisconsin

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

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The Iowa women’s tennis team started its two-match weekend with a loss against No. 59 Minnesota in Minneapolis, 6-1, on April 4.

Iowa couldn’t secure the doubles point, losing at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The Hawkeyes are 0-6 in matches in which they fail to secure the doubles point.

Minnesota was the second team Iowa has faced since losing No. 1 singles player senior Shelby Talcott to an injury. The Hawks won their previous match without her against Nebraska on April 1, 4-3.

In singles, senior Morven McCulloch once again took over at the top of the lineup for Talcott. She played well in her last match against Nebraska’s No. 1, Maggy Lehmicke, securing a victory (6-4, 6-2).

McCulloch fell in her first set against Minnesota’s Tereza Brichacova (2-6). She was able to post a win in the second set (6-1) and force a tiebreaker. Brichacova ultimately managed to defeat McCulloch (11-9).

Freshman Zoe Douglas was the only Hawkeye to come out with a victory in the match, securing a win in singles play. She is now 4-1 at No. 6.

Douglas defeated the Gopher’s Paula Rincon Otero (3-6, 6-4, [10-5]). Iowa head coach Katie Dougherty noted in a release that the freshman has done a great job stepping into the lineup.

This was the third win in a row for Minnesota, and the Gophers moves to 15-6, 5-2 in the conference. Their record puts them among the top five teams in the Big Ten.

“The team competed hard today,” Dougherty said in the release. “We battled, and everyone is embracing moving up a spot in the lineup with Shelby out for the time being.”

Gopher senior Aria Lambert dropped Iowa senior Katie Zordani (6-3, 6-3) at No. 3 to clinch the match for Minnesota. The win was the 77th singles win of Lambert's career, which places her at ninth all-time at Minnesota history for career singles wins.

Wisconsin came into the match on Sunday riding a three-match winning streak that included victories over Nebraska, Rutgers, and the then-No. 47 Terrapins, whom they defeated in College Park, Maryland.

The meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa on Sunday was a pivotal one for both teams. Entering the match, Iowa was sitting at No. 9 in the conference, and Wisconsin was No. 10.

Iowa won the doubles point in the match, collecting victories at No. 1 and No. 2. The freshman/senior duo of Douglas and Zordani saw success at the No. 2 spot, defeating Wisconsin’s Ekaterina Stepanova and Sydney Rider (8-7). Douglas and Zordani are 9-4 when playing together this season.

At No. 1 doubles, junior Annette Dohanics and McCulloch routed Wisconsin's Lauren Chypyha and Kelsey Grambeau (8-1). The two are now 7-1 for the season, 2-1 at No. 1 doubles.

Despite winning the double point, Iowa lost three first sets as a team and wasn’t able to recover, ultimately falling to the Badgers, 4-3.

McCulloch played well at No. 1, defeating Wisconsin’s Lauren Chypyha (6-4, 6-3). McCulloch is 2-1 at the No. 1 spot since stepping in for Talcott.

Douglas also posted a win against Wisconsin in singles, defeating Sydney Rider at No. 5 (6-4, 6-2). This improves her record to 5-1 in singles play.

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

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