Cyclones try to find keys to success yet again

Michael Schmitt

The ISU tennis team has yet to get into the win column after two close losses this weekend, but there are still some positives to take from the meets.

“We competed pretty well, especially against Western Michigan,” said senior Maria Fernanda Macedo. “The whole match we were very intense and the energy level was high.”

Freshmen Meghan Cassens and Ksenia Pronina both went 2-0 for the weekend, along with the doubles team of seniors Tessa Lang and Marie-Christine Chartier.

“They are starting to get a little more confident and starting to believe a little bit more, and what we’re doing in practice is working,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

Chartier also posted the only other singles win for the Cyclones (0-3) in a 4-3 loss to Western Michigan (3-2).

Cassens and Pronina combined to win eight of nine sets against Marquette (3-0) and Western Michigan.

“Both of them are very consistent and I think that’s key in college tennis,” Macedo said. “They run for every ball and they don’t lose much.”

Of the six doubles matches that took place, the Cyclones only managed to win two, with the team of Lang and Chartier winning both. The team emphasized the importance of winning the doubles point and said it takes some of the pressure off during singles play.

“We just need to keep competing,” Macedo said. “We’re really close; there’s just little details we need to take care of, but we’re going in the right direction.”

Espinosa said the other doubles teams just haven’t had much time to practice together and once they do, they should be more successful. He said the coaching staff is still evaluating the changes it made in the doubles lineups.

Overall, he stressed some points the Cyclones need to work on to be successful.

“We just need to have a little bit more of a consistent effort throughout. We can’t have some people show up someday and not the other,” Espinosa said. “I think we competed well, we did the right things, we just need to have everybody to expect to come out and compete like that every time.”

The Cyclones are 0-3 for the first time since the 2005-06 season, but Espinosa isn’t too worried about it.

“We’re right there,” he said. “We played two tough teams and we’re competing a little bit better, we just need to get more mentally prepared for the matches and we should be good to go.”

The Cyclones travel to Iowa City this weekend to take on Illinois-Chicago on Saturday and Iowa on Sunday, both at noon.