ITA Regionals, Kansas Tournament awaits Iowa State tennis team

Mark Schafer

Long breaks between tournaments can sometimes be hard to overcome, but the ISU tennis team has used its long break to better prepare for the rest of the season.

The last tournaments that the team participated in were Sept. 16-18 at the Minnesota Gopher Invitational followed by Northern Iowa Invitational on Sept. 23-25. The team did not participate as a whole at either tournament, with the upperclassmen competing at the former and the freshmen competing at the latter of the two.

“Since the last tournament, we have played a lot of matches amongst ourselves so we could stay match-ready,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

Due to the success from the first two tournaments, Espinosa said two ISU tennis players will represent the team at the ITA Regionals, which will start this Thursday, Oct. 20.

“We are guaranteed one spot for the Regional Championship in singles and one doubles spot as well,” Espinosa said. “Based on some results this fall, we have decided to take Maria Macedo and Simona Cacciuttolo to the [ITA Regionals] tournament.”

Macedo was one of the stars from the first two tournaments; she last competed at the UNI Invitational, where she easily won her singles match in straight sets (6-0, 6-2) over her Milwaukee opponent.

Cacciuttolo and Macedo are going to be partners, in the doubles part of the tournament, for the first time.

“It will be fun. We’ve practiced together a couple times but have never played a tournament as a doubles team,” Cacciuttolo said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Like Cacciuttolo, Macedo is also excited at the chance to play together.

“Our practices together have gone well, so I think when we play an actual match we’ll do well,” Macedo said. “It will be a good opportunity to learn together.”

For Espinosa, he would like to see the team start to focus on doubles play for the upcoming tournaments as well as the season that will start in January.

“We are going to focus on our doubles, so that hopefully for January, we would have a clear idea of who is playing with who,” Espinosa said.

For the rest of the team, they will also be in competition this weekend at the Kansas Tournament this Friday through Sunday. Espinosa said it will be there that they will hope to continue to improve on various aspects of their game.

“Everyone is playing well, we just need to get better under pressure,” Espinosa said. “The freshmen still have a lot to learn, we are happy with their development, they just need to get as many matches under their belt as possible so that they can contribute in the future.”