ISU tennis team gets back in the swing of things

Michael Schmitt

The ISU tennis team put its resiliency to the test this past week while in Hawaii.

On Thursday, the team was down 1-0 after losing the doubles point to Eastern Michigan. The players had just played their first singles matches and lost four of the six.

But the Cyclones weren’t quite ready to give up. After the one-hour rain delay, Iowa State won every singles match and ended up winning the meet 6-1.

“Against Eastern Michigan, it was probably the best that I’ve seen the team compete,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “We played Hawaii outside and they had just come to play Michigan in a very close match and we came out and were toe to toe with them.”

The next meet was against No. 52 Hawaii and the Cyclones appeared to be outmatched. A rain delay forced the cancellation of doubles play and it was up to singles to determine the winner.

While the team didn’t win the match, it played well and hung tough with its best opponent of the year in a 5-1 loss.

Espinosa said the team will take some time to get back in the swing of things this week after being in Hawaii for almost a week.

The team faced a lot of different obstacles in Hawaii that they won’t have to face against Drake on Friday, including playing at sea level and playing outdoors. Along with that, Espinosa focused mainly on one thing the team needs to improve on.

“Serving was one of the things that was kind of lacking over there, that’s kind of it though. We’re getting in better and better shape every day,” Espinosa said.

After starting out 0-7, the team has won two of its last three meets and it is starting to build momentum heading into Big 12 play.

But before Iowa State can focus on conference play, it needs to prepare to face off against Drake on Friday. The Bulldogs are 11-2 on the season and won’t be taken lightly.

“We’re not overlooking them, certainly we’re trying to get prepared for the Big 12 and things that we need to improve like serves and doubles and that’s an opportunity for us to perform under pressure,” Espinosa said.

This will be the Cyclones’ fifth time in as many years playing Drake, having won every time, and they will try to continue the streak Friday at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.