Cyclones receive second win, second shutout

Kristin Peterson

Indoor play and a strong showing by the doubles pairs helped the Cyclones bring home their second win of the season against Portland this weekend in Seattle.

“Certainly, the Portland match was a good one for us. They are a good team, and the fact that we beat them was an important step for us,” said ISU coach Armando Espinosa.

Assistant coach Rodrigo Puebla said the strong start in doubles is good evidence that the work put in during weekly practices is working and that strength in doubles will help the Cyclones play better when they compete in singles.

“It helped us to get a little boost and have more confidence in our singles play,” Puebla said. “We were playing against a very strong team, but we were able to lead off.”

The Cyclones swept the doubles for the first time this season and followed up their wins with victories in four of the six matches.

The added comfort of indoor play helped many Cyclones play more confidently when faced with more similar conditions in practice.

“I think a lot of us are more comfortable inside; we can hit through the ball,” said Jenna Langhorst. “That helped a lot in both matches.”

Iowa State did well against Portland but was shut out the next day against No. 36 Washington.

“They were just really strong. I don’t think we have seen a team as good as them yet,” Langhorst said. “So it was kind of an eye-opener, but it gets us ready for the Big 12.”

Espinosa is not discouraged by the loss. Although the team did not win any matches, two of the matches were close, and Espinosa sees that as a start when facing high-ranked teams.

Puebla said matches like Washington are practice and preparation for the eight ranked teams still to come when conference matches begin.

“[Washington] is 36th in the country. So, that kind of gets us ready for what we are going to face in the next few weeks. [It] gets us ready for the Big 12,” Puebla said.