ISU tennis team getting set to face No. 42 Missouri


Photo: John Scallon/Iowa State D

Liza Wicher prepares for a return play alongside her partner Jenna Langhorst during the Iowa State – Oklahoma State match held March 15 at the Ames Racquet and Fitness Center.

Michael Schmitt

In order for the ISU tennis team to beat No. 42 Missouri, it will have to win the doubles point.

ISU assistant coach Rod Puebla said in order to be more successful in doubles, the team needs to play better as a more cohesive unit.

“We’ve started to come together as a team on the court, you know we’re competing better in singles, and hopefully we’re raising our competition level and trying to fight a little bit more,” Puebla said. “And that’s paying off and we’re trying to get that into doubles now, so hopefully we can get that this weekend.”

To try to get that chemistry and togetherness that is required to be a good doubles team, the Cyclones (3-14, 0-4 Big 12) spent all week focusing only on doubles.

The team is trying to find the best combination of players to play in the three doubles teams, and the pairs are not set in stone from the previous meet.

Along with doubles, the team stressed other areas that it needs to improve.

“We need to come out more mentally prepared and not give our opponent so much credit,” said junior Jenna Langhorst.

If the Cyclones want to beat Missouri (8-8, 0-4), they also need to come out with more intensity than their opponent.

“They’re a really intense team so we just need to come out strong,” said senior Marie-Christine Chartier.

Both teams are searching for their first conference victory this the season.

Missouri is on a four match losing streak in conference play, but the Tigers have won three non-conference meets in a row since its last conference loss.

The Tigers defeated Brown, Stephen F. Austin and Rice during the past week and have two mutual non-conference opponents with the Cyclones.

Iowa State faced Stephen F. Austin earlier in the year and lost 5-2. Both teams also faced Minnesota, with the Cyclones losing 7-0 and Missouri losing 6-1.

Friday’s meet will be an interesting matchup, with one team coming off three straight non-conference wins and another playing in its first meet in nearly two weeks.

The meet will be played at the Forker Tennis Courts, weather permitting, and the first serve will be hit at 2 p.m.