In four games this weekend, men’s and women’s tennis in Iowa could only come out of the weekend with one win. The women’s team went 1-1 at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, and the men dropped both games on the road.
The Hawkeye women’s team defeated Penn State 5-2 for its fifth straight win on Friday, but lost to No. 10 Ohio State 5-2 two days later The men lost both games with a 7-0 defeat to No. 9 Illinois and a 6-1 defeat to No. 29 Northwestern.
Freshman Alexa Noel and senior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell were the only players to come out of the weekend with two wins in singles and the Summit, New Jersey resident, remains unbeaten with 14 wins.
I’ll just go out and play my own game, said van Heuvelen Treadwell. I just stuck to the game plan, stayed confident throughout the game, and got the job done.
Noel is now 2-0 against the ranked opponents after her 6-2 win against No. 78 Irina Cantos Siemers.
The women’s tennis team has struggled with depth this season, with Noel and van Heuvelen Treadwell being the only signs of consistency. Iowa is 4-4 at No. 6, 2-5 at No. 5 and hasn’t won a single game at No. 4 this season.
This weekend was the same story as junior Samantha Gillas lost both games at No. 4, freshman Vipasha Mehra went winless at No. 5 and No. 6, and junior Michelle Bacalla went 1-1 in the bottom two spots.
We just need to be able to dig into more singles matches in all positions, said Sasha Schmid, Iowa women’s chief tennis coach. Especially in situations where we were not dominant or we are not in charge. The ability to run single matches becomes a defining feature.
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The Hawkeyes are undefeated this season if they win the doubles point and have only one win if they lose it.
The No. 2 pair Gillas and Van Heuvelen Treadwell won both games this weekend and the pair Danielle Bauers / Mehra sealed the point for the Hawkeyes on Friday. However, The Hawks fell short in the doubles on Sunday, as Bauers and Mehra lost 6-4 and Noel / Samantha Mannix were eliminated.
I think doubles are incredibly crucial, Schmid said. So that’s something we have to keep working on. To play a top team and feel like you can be competitive and get a double point is huge.
Like the women’s team, the Iowa men’s tennis team entered the weekend hungry to take its first win against a ranked opponent.
Even with pivotal No. 17 Will Davies / Oliver Okonkwo wins on Friday and Saturday, Iowa lost the doubles in both games as Kareem Allaf / Nikita Snezhko and Joe Tyler / Peter Alam were unable to keep up with their teammates’ great play.
The singles were no better for the Hawkeyes, as they were completely eliminated on all singles courts on Friday against Illinois.
No. 39 Kareem Allaf lost his unbeaten season with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to No. 35 Aleks Kovacevic.
Juniors Joe Tyler and Will Davies and sophomore Oliver Okonkwo all recorded their first conference losses.
Sunday was no better for the men against the Wildcats. After losing the doubles point, Will Davies was the only Iowa player to sneak a win in singles, with the rest of the Hawkeyes dropping their games.
The women’s team is now 6-2 in Big Ten game and the men’s team has moved up to 3-2 in conference play after the defeats.
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