Tennis team hoping hard work pays off

Michael Schmitt

Since a season-opening 7-0 loss at the hands of Minnesota, the ISU tennis team has continued to improve.

While the 0-7 record might not show it, the Cyclones have been close to winning every meet since the first.

Iowa State will hope to turn things around when the team travels to Waterloo to face Northern Iowa on Sunday. The Cyclones will hope to be as consistent as they have in the past few meets.

“When we’re up just keep staying up and not have ups and downs,” said ISU senior Marie-Christine Chartier.

In its most recent meet, Iowa State managed to win the doubles point for the first time this season, despite losing to Charleston Southern 4-3.

“We started really fired up in the doubles point, we really wanted it, we cheered hard for our teammates, and we were just really set on winning it,” Chartier said. “We knew it would be a big difference so we were set on staying on the court as long as possible to get that point.”

The team has been more intense and encouraging in the past few meets, and it has helped the players to perform better, especially in the most recent meets.

“We fought really hard and we supported each other,” said ISU freshman Ksenia Pronina.

The Cyclones have been practicing doubles every week since the beginning of the season, and they hope the work will finally pay off.

The team will hope to keep that up against a UNI team that has won the doubles point in six of its eight matches played this season.

Northern Iowa (6-2) is enjoying a successful start to the season after a 16-9 (6-1 MVC) campaign last year. Much like Iowa State, the Panthers are led in wins mostly by underclassmen.

UNI freshman Cassandra Dix leads the team with 12 wins, while fellow freshman Nina Pfahler has tallied 10. Senior Jessica Kunzelmann also has 10 wins so far this season.

ISU players Ksenia Pronina and Simona Cacciuttolo have been playing well as of late. They combined to go 4-0 in singles matches this past weekend and also teamed up for a doubles win.

The Cyclones will be playing indoors at the Black Hawk Tennis Club, compared to the normal outdoor playing.

“That’s important for us as we get ready for the Big 12,” said ISU coach Armando Espinosa.