After Kansas, ISU tennis to focus on doubles play

Mark Schafer

One ISU freshman is slowly capturing wins in her short college tennis career.

The last time that the ISU women’s tennis team played, they were successful in the doubles side of the court, with the all-freshman team of Meghan Cassens and Ksenia Pronina pairing up to bring home a title from the UNI Invitational.

Last weekend, at the KU Invitational, Cassens was again able to find success, but this time in the singles competition of the game as she won her bracket at that tournament.

“Meghan did really well this last weekend, and she was able to control her game,” said head coach Armando Espinosa. “She came out playing hard and kept doing what was working to keep her momentum up throughout both the entire weekend and because of that she was successful.”

While Cassens now has two victories in her first two tennis tournaments in college, she understands that the tennis season does not start until January.

“It’s always nice to win a tournament,” Cassens said. “I know what I need to do to stay ready for when the tournaments start in January, this builds confidence for the future.”

While Cassens won her bracket, she was not the only Cyclone that had a chance to win a singles title at the KU invitational.

“The girls did a great job in singles today,” Espinosa said. “They’ve really worked on expanding the court and moving the ball around, and overall getting better results for themselves.”

Two other Cyclones, Jenna Longhorst and Pronina also advanced to the final match of their perspective brackets, but both would lose to Kansas State opponents.

“This weekend provided us with a lot of things that we can work on in the next couple of weeks before our next tournament,” Longhorst said. “We just need to continue to improve.”

Even with the success from this weekend, Espinosa would like to keep the team improving so it can get better results at the next tournaments.

“Overall, this was a really successful weekend,” Espinosa said. “I expect everyone to do better than they did at the last tournament. As long as we continue to improve we will be able to see results.”

With success in the singles side of competition, one area that Espinosa thinks improvement can come from would be the doubles, which will be the teams focus for the next tournaments.

“In doubles we need to focus more on the gameplay, get our plays set and execute them, we were able to work on that for some of the singles players,” Espinosa said. “I think that is a positive that we can take out of this weekend.”

For the tennis team last weekend’s tournament was the last one that they will play until Nov. 4, which will then be the last tournament of the semester.

Espinosa is happy with the success from this past tournament, but stresses there are still things to work on during the break, on both the singles and doubles side of play.

“Now that we have a few weeks before the next tournament, we’ll hopefully clean up some things to get ready for Western Michigan University,” Espinosa said. “By then I think things can start to come together in both singles and doubles play.”