Cyclones try to ride momentum into meet in Hawaii

Michael Schmitt

Sometimes momentum can mean everything in sports.

The ISU tennis team will try to keep the momentum alive in its trip to Hawaii this weekend after it won its first meet of the season this past Sunday.

“We’re really excited to go to Hawaii,” said senior Maria Fernanda Macedo. “Hawaii is ranked, so it will be a great opportunity to beat a ranked team and get a ranking.”

The team left early Tuesday morning and has its first meet of the trip against Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Eagles (4-5) are led by freshmen Ankita Bhatia and Daphne Friedrichs along with sophomore Nino Mebuke. Each player has posted five dual wins this season, which is the most on the team.

Eastern Michigan has won the doubles point in five of nine matches this season, compared to Iowa State (1-7), which has won it only two out of eight matches. The Eagles also have not played a meet since Feb. 10.

“The people we play have been taking the net away from us and we don’t take it back, so we end up losing, we’re less aggressive than they are and it shows up in the results,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

The Cyclones are on the heels of a 7-0 dominating victory against Northern Iowa and acknowledged that getting their first win of the season took some pressure off of them.

The team will face off against No. 51 Hawaii at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Rainbow Wahine (3-3) were ranked No. 74 last week, which was their first ranking in school history. After having no matches since Feb. 13, they ascended to their most recent ranking of 51.

Iowa State is 0-1 to ranked teams this season, with the only meet against a ranked team being a close 4-3 loss to then-No. 70 College of Charleston. The Cyclones will try to change that trend against the Rainbow Wahine.

“They’re at home, but it’s going to be great to be in Hawaii,” Macedo said. “That will pump us up to come out with a lot of energy and win.”