There’s no place like home court

Kristin Peterson

With a three-match weekend, the Cyclones finally return to home court after not competing in Ames since their 3-4 loss to Marquette on Feb. 8.

This week, the ISU tennis team faces in-state rival Drake on March 8, as well as both Grand View and Stephens on March 9. The team is excited to be back in familiar territory.

“We have been on the road for the past month, so it is definitely going to be nice to be back at home,” said assistant coach Rodrigo Puebla.

Senior Jenna Langhorst is also glad to be back in Ames for this packed weekend and thinks the added comfort and support may play in the Cyclones’ favor.

“I think it’s just nice to be back where we are comfortable, and not have to travel or worry about schedules, so I think we are happy to be back and hopefully have some fans at our matches,” Langhorst said.

As a rival match, the Cyclones are eager to play against Drake. Puebla believes that the rivalry will add some extra fire to the team going into the match.

“Drake is always really competitive; we’re a big rival, so we are going to have to come out and be ready to battle against them,” Langhorst said.

Although staying in Ames will reduce some of the stress for the team, which has spent a lot of time on the road, having three matches in two days will likely put a strain on the Cyclones.

However, with having the extra matches, coach Armando Espinosa hopes to present the opportunity for players to compete who do not get as much court time. 

“We will just have to be ready again [on March 9] because we play the night before, so it will be kind of hard transitioning and having two matches the next day,” Langhorst said.

Puebla said that he believes the tougher competition they have seen lately facing ranked teams, such as No. 36 Washington last weekend, will help to prepare them mentally and physically for this weekend.

“I think it will be a good time to gain some confidence. We have played a strong schedule so far, so I think these three matches will give us a little bit better chance to win,” Espinosa said.

The matches against Drake will be at 6 p.m. March 8. Matches will start at 10 a.m. against Stephens then continue at 6 p.m. against Grand View on March 9.