ISU tennis team prepares for Drake

Michael Schmitt

For the past four years, the ISU tennis team has dominated Drake, winning all four meets between the two.

The Cyclones (2-8) will try to extend that streak to five as they take on the Bulldogs (11-2) on Friday at 6 p.m.

“It’s going to be fun to play close to home, playing in somewhat of a familiar territory will be nice,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

Both teams are coming off losses after winning streaks, but the Cyclones’ two-match winning streak pales in comparison to the Bulldogs 10-match streak. Drake’s two losses have come at the hands of Kansas and Oklahoma, teams that Iowa State will face once Big 12 play starts on March 16.

The Cyclones won meets against Northern Iowa and Eastern Michigan but fell to No. 52 Hawaii on Saturday.

“For Hawaii, they’re ranked and they’re a good team but we were right there with a lot of chances,” said senior Maria Fernanda Macedo. “So that gives us a lot of hope for the Big 12 because we were right there with a ranked team so we just need to take those little opportunities.”

Macedo and Espinosa were impressed with the team’s ability to come from behind to beat Eastern Michigan.

“We lost three sets, and we had a rain delay and stopped for an hour,” Macedo said. “And everybody just came out and we had a lot of energy and won their three sets super-fast. That was really impressive how well we managed those three sets.”

Iowa State may not be so lucky against Drake, which is off to its best start in years.

The Bulldogs are led in singles by junior Manca Krizman, who has a team-high 11 wins in duals. Sophomore Klavdija Rebol is close behind with nine wins and seniors Gabriela Demos and Jessica Aguilera have eight wins each.

Drake has excelled in doubles play this year, winning the doubles point in 10 of its 13 matches played. This could cause a problem for the Cyclones, who have only won the doubles point twice out of 10 matches.

However, the team has been better as of late, winning the doubles point in two of its last four matches.

In singles play, the Cyclones are led by senior Marie-Christine Chartier and freshman Ksenia Pronina, both of whom have seven duals wins so far. Freshman Meghan Cassens is close behind with five.

Espinosa said the team is happy to finally be playing a meet close to home after traveling to Michigan, South Carolina and Hawaii so far this season. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday.