Cyclones try for success in Seattle

Kristin Peterson

After a two-loss weekend last week in Las Vegas, the Cyclones eagerly return to indoor play and a chance to once again get some practice against a ranked team in Seattle.

The ISU tennis team will start the weekend off on March 2 against Portland before facing No. 36 Washington on March 3.

The Cyclones will be returning to play in conditions they are currently more comfortable in. With indoor play, the team will be able to avoid weather and winds that they are unable to train in now while Ames is covered in snow.

“I think the biggest thing is that we get to go back inside, which I know we are all a lot more confortable with,” said Jenna Langhorst. “It will definitely give us an advantage.”

After a 7-0 loss to UNLV, the Cyclones hope to prove that they can compete against the level of competition that awaits them in the conference.

“We had a pretty good showing against UNLV … even though the score didn’t show it, but we were right there with the team that is 67th in the country,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “As we get closer and closer to playing the Big 12, it’s important for us to see what the level is going to be like.”

Currently ranked 36th in the nation, Washington is a step up from UNLV but Espinosa feels confident that the team can compete this round.

With many losses in the third set, Espinosa hopes to see his players push themselves more at the end.

“[This weekend, we need] a little more constancy from the players in terms of their performance,” Espinosa said. “We haven’t had a match where everybody gave the best performance yet, so I think we are still looking for that and hopefully it will come soon.”

Assistant coach Rodrigo Puebla agreed that consistency would help lead to a more successful weekend for the Cyclones.

“We play really well one day but then the next day we don’t play the same game,” Puebla said. “We need to be more stable with our game because we have two tough matches.”

Simona Cacciuttolo was close to upsetting Aleksandra Josifoska, who is currently 19th in the nation individually. Espinosa hopes the team and Cacciuttolo will take that as a sign that they can compete against ranked teams like UNLV at this weekend’s match against Washington.

“Even though [Cacciuttolo] lost she feels that she can compete and that level and hopefully everyone takes some similar knowledge from those matches,” Espinosa said.

The ISU tennis team hopes to see strong finishes and more results against Portland and Washington this weekend in Seattle.