Tennis team plays tough, loses two straight


Photo: Suhaib Tawil/Iowa State Daily

Ksenia Pronina focuses on the ball and prepares to hit it at the match against Drake 5-2 on Friday, March 8, 2013, at Ames Racquet and Fitness.

Beau Berkley

The ISU tennis team began Big 12 play this past weekend against two ranked teams. No. 36 Baylor downed the Cyclones 6-1 on Friday, March 15, 2013, denying the team its first conference win. After resting Saturday, March 16, the Cyclones were back in action Sunday, March 17, to face No.27 TCU, losing 6-0.


Baylor played strong tennis from beginning to end, winning all three doubles matches without surrendering more than two points in any of the three and winning five of the six singles matches.

“They are good, strong, physical and they make you chase down balls,”  said coach Armando Espinosa. “Our effort was there, but they didn’t let us get past them.”

Sophomore Ksenia Pronina provided a thrilling win for the Cyclones, winning a long match against Megan Horter in two sets.

“The longer the match went I could tell she was getting tired, so I knew I had to take charge and start going to the net,” Pronina said. “I also tried to take my forehand down the line as much as possible, but when I saw her start waiting for the ball I tried to change it up a little and move her around.”

Espinosa is happy with how Pronina has been playing as of late and how far she has come.

“She is beginning to play like she practices,” Espinosa said. “The whole mentality she’s had and how she’s approaching matches, she’s getting more confident.”


No. 27 TCU came to Ames with a six meet winning streak. The Horned Frogs added one more win to that streak before they left.

The Horned Frogs won all six singles matches to take the meet 6-0. Doubles were not played due to time constraints.

The Cyclones came into the meet as underdogs looking for an upset, but just fell short. Three of the six singles matches were decided in the third set and several others were only a point away from the third set.

“I’m please with how we competed,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “It was just a matter of a few points here and there.”

Sophomore Caroline Andersen won the first set of her match 6-4 before losing the next two.

“Overall we played well,” Andersen said. “Everyone was competing much better and all the matches were very close.”

Espinosa believes this weekend showed his teams ability to compete, despite the losses.

“This weekend shows that they can compete at this level. They played tough matches throughout the weekend against two good teams,” Espinosa said.

The two losses put the Cyclones at 0-2 to begin conference play.

Facing ranked teams is something the Cyclones will experience frequently throughout the season. Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are among the teams slated to play Iowa State, and all three are ranked in the top 30.

“The thing about the Big 12 is that it is so tough,” Espinosa said. “We hope these two meets are going to help us keep competing until we are a little more comfortable at this level.”