ISU tennis team sticking to basics


Sophomore Emma Waites practices on the Forker courts on Tuesday, March 27.

Michael Schmitt

At this point in the season, the ISU tennis team is not doing much out of the ordinary.

Although the Cyclones (3-14, 0-4 Big 12) are not having the season they would have liked, they still have a month to get it all figured out.

“There’s still time to turn it around, we still have five matches left, and hopefully we can make that turnaround,” said assistant coach Rod Puebla. “If we can get that going, and hopefully, if we can make the switch with doubles, then it’s going to make a big difference. The girls know what they need to do.”

In order to be a good doubles team, the players must play together and work as a team. Puebla said they can try all the different formations and everything, but if the players are not doing the basics the right way, then none of it matters.

“We just need to find that chemistry, and these girls just need to buy into playing together,” Puebla said. “Tennis is such an individual sport; you always play it by yourself for 10 to 15 years, and they come in here and they need to make that transition to try to compete as a team.”

He also said the women are not doing anything too intense because of how much they travel and play. The tennis team travels quite a bit this season with trips to Hawaii, Michigan, South Carolina, Oklahoma and multiple trips to Texas.

With all the time spent on the road, Puebla said this week the team will just focus on academics and the basics. This is the first week the Cyclones do not have a match the upcoming weekend.

Every once in a while the team does fun competitions in practice to take the pressure off and lighten the mood.

“Sometimes we’ll play ‘dingles,’ which is like doubles and singles combined,” said sophomore Emma Waites. “Two people start rallying cross court, and if one of the peoples’ cross court points ends, it becomes doubles and now everyone becomes involved, and then you have to win two points to win the point, it’s fun.”

With five matches left, the Cyclones know they can win, they just have to figure out how.

“From here on is when it really matters, we have chances to beat Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State, so that is pretty much what we’re going to focus on,” Puebla said. “One of our goals is to beat those teams, and to do that, we’re going to have to do better in doubles.”