Tennis team falls short in close matches


Photo:Zhenru Zhang/Iowa State Da

Cyclones Jenna Langhorst and Marie-Christine Chartier lost the first set during the match against University of Missouri – Kansas City on Friday, March 4 at Ames Racquet & Fitness Center.

Michael Schmitt

The ISU tennis team could almost feel the monkey climbing off its back. Leading 3-1 with just three singles matches to go, the Cyclones couldn’t hold onto the lead and fell 4-3 to Charleston Southern (2-0) on Saturday to add another tally to the loss column.

Friday was a similar story, as the Cyclones (0-7) never led but were locked in a 2-2 tie with three singles matches left with College of Charleston. Iowa State dropped the next two, but managed to win the third to make it a respectable yet disappointing 4-3 loss to No. 70 College of Charleston (3-2).

While the Cyclones didn’t win, coach Armando Espinosa was encouraged by how well the team played, especially since the meets were outdoors rather than inside like most have been this season.

“Playing outside was huge,” Espinosa said. “It’s just preparing us for the Big 12 a little bit. Playing in different conditions outside with the sun and the wind, the ball doesn’t travel as fast.”

The meet against Charleston Southern marked a first for the Cyclones this season, as they won the doubles point for the first time in seven tries. However, it ended up not being enough.

“Last meet, when we won the doubles point, that was pretty good,” said freshman Ksenia Pronina. “We need to keep doing that. We have a lot of close matches, so we just need to win them.”

If Iowa State would have won the doubles point against College of Charleston on Friday, it would have won the meet.

“It’s just a matter of getting the same kind of effort regardless of the day, and if we can put three great efforts out there in doubles, then we should be getting the doubles point,” Espinosa said. “We’ve had the right combinations; it’s just sometimes, it’s kind of tough.”

Senior Marie-Christine Chartier said taking advantage of the other teams’ mistakes is something Iowa State needs to do to see success.

“We need to take advantage of our momentum,” Chartier said. “Whenever things start going well, we need to keep them going our way, like when we’re on the doubles point, we should have used that advantage.”

After all the traveling the team has been doing so far this season, Espinosa plans on giving the players a few days off this week to rest and focus on academics. The Cyclones will try to rebound when they travel to Waterloo to take on Northern Iowa on Sunday.

“They are tough losses but we’re giving ourselves opportunities to compete, and we’re competing better.” Espinosa said. “So if we can do that the right way, then I think against UNI we will be just fine.”