ISU tennis team sweeps weekend matches

Beau Berkley

After a 7-0 loss to Washington on March 3, 2013, the ISU tennis team bounced back this past weekend, winning three meets in dominating fashion against Drake, Stephens College and Grand View.


Iowa State beat the Drake (6-7) on Friday, March 8, 2013, for the seventh consecutive time, winning by a score of 5-2. The Cyclones came out of the gates strong, winning the doubles point from two victories.

Ksenia Pronina and Jenna Langhorst jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in their doubles match before thwarting off a late comeback and winning 8-7. Simona Cacciuttolo and Caroline Hauge Andersen also teamed up for a convincing 8-4 doubles victory.

ISU coach Armando Espinosa said the doubles point is a step in the right direction for the Cyclones.

“I think we are getting better in doubles, but we still need to find more energy when we first come out,” Espinosa said. “We need the same confidence in doubles that we have in singles.”

The Cyclones continued to be aggressive throughout the meet, winning four of the six singles matches. Pronina, Langhorst, Meghan Cassens and Emma Waites all won their singles matches in two sets.

“They were obviously a really good team, so if we just keep doing what we’re doing we’ll be just fine,” Langhorst said.

The win was also important for Iowa State to win at home. 

“Drake is a great team and they compete hard,” Espinosa said. “The girls wanted to protect their house and that is what they did. This was a good win for us.”

Stephens College

The Cyclones carried the momentum into Saturday, March 8, handily defeating Stephens College 6-0. Due to time constraints, doubles matches were not played.

Espinosa opted to sit Cacciuttolo and Pronina — the No. 1 and No. 2 singles match players — in order to get other players more experience in duals.

“It’s important to get everyone out there because you never know what will happen with injuries,” Espinosa said. “It’s always nice to keep everyone in tune in-case something happens.”

The Cyclones pummeled the Stars from start to finish, winning all six matches while only seceding two total set points.

“It’s important that everyone has the ability to show up, play and get that point for the team,” Espinosa said.

Caroline Andersen won her match in two sets, shutting out her opponent 6-0 in both.

“For me, I was just trying to stay focused and keep the ball in play,” Andersen said of her victory. “My serve was also working well and that helped.”

Senior Ellie Nixon solidified her first dual victory of the season with her two-set win.

“I thought my serves really worked well today,” Nixon said. “It definitely feels good to get the win.”

Grand View

A strong performance against Grand View on Saturday night put the Cyclones at 3-0 for the weekend.

Iowa State defeated Grand View in all three doubles matches, as well as winning all singles matches in two sets, en route to a 7-0 victory.

Simona Cacciuttolo and Caroline Andersen set the tempo early, winning their match 8-0. Cacciuttolo and Andersen also had success Friday night against Drake, winning their doubles match 8-4.

“Simona and I are playing very well in doubles,” Andersen said. “We know what each other is going to do and I feel like we’re very stable.”

Espinosa came away from the weekend very pleased with his team and feeling optimistic about his team’s confidence heading into Big 12 play

“Our composure was good throughout the weekend, so it’s good to know that they can come out and play for this long. With three wins this weekend that gets us very close to .500 going into Big 12 competition,” Espinosa said. “When losses start coming in, you begin to question a lot of things and I think with these wins, especially against Drake, we realized that we are doing the right things.”

The Cyclones travel to University of Missouri-Kansas City on March 19 before heading to Texas and beginning Big 12 play.