Iowa State falls to Drake in grueling five hour contest

Max Dible

Drake outlasted Iowa State Friday night in a meet that lasted over five hours, making it one of Iowa State’s longest performances of the season.

The ISU tennis team (8-5, 0-0 Big 12) fell 5-2 in Ames to the No. 72 Drake Bulldogs (8-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley).

The final tally doesn’t tell the story as the in-state rivals shared what was perhaps Iowa State’s closest meet of the year.

The Cyclones claimed No. 1 doubles 8-3, and fell at No. 3 doubles by the same score. The doubles point came down to the No. 2 spot, where junior Meghan Cassens and sophomore Ana Gasparovic lost a tightly contested match in a tiebreak to Jordan Eggleston and Neil Boyd, 8-7(4).

The singles matches didn’t begin until two hours into the meet as both teams tried to recover from the emotion of the doubles matches.

Junior Ksenia Pronina came out fired up and won a more or less even match at No. 1 singles against Klavdija Revol, 6-4, 6-4.

Freshman Samantha Budai relinquished a 4-1 lead in the first set at No. 2 singles after tweaking her hip going for a ball. Budai ended up losing the first set and the match to Mariel Ante who won, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-3.

Maddie Johnson of Drake held on to beat Cassens at the No. 3 spot, 7-5, 6-4, while Eggleston took out freshman Talisa Merchiers in her second start of the season, 6-1, 6-4.

The longest match of the night came at No. 4 singles where Ana Gasparovic let victory slip between her fingers after claiming the first set 6-2. Gasparovic ultimately fell to Boyd. 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Senior Emma Waites handled Lea Kozulic at No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-2, but it was not enough to put the Cyclones over the top.

Iowa State now gets a much needed week of rest before plunging head first into the Big 12 conference schedule.

Iowa State will face Kansas in the conference opener on Friday, March 7 and follow that meet up with a showdown versus Kansas State on Sunday, March 9.

Both meets will be played at Ames Racquet and Fitness.