Following Minnesota, Cyclones prepare for UNI tournament

Mark Schafer

The ISU tennis team took eight players up to Minnesota for the first tournament of the year this past weekend, leaving four at home to prepare for the upcoming tournament this weekend in Waterloo.

All eight of the players have had NCAA tennis experience under their belt, but the first tournament proved that too much experience is never a bad thing, especially when preparing for a long season.

“We still have room to improve and that is always a positive because if you reach your potential in the fall then it’s the wrong time,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “I think overall we learned, that we don’t have to hit the ball that hard or fast and work on consistency for the long run.”

Since the team was playing tough competition, the freshmen stayed home and didn’t compete this weekend, Espinosa said.

“We played tough competition with Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa there,” Espinosa said. “We are actually taking the remaining four players [this weekend], we are taking three freshmen so it’ll be interesting to see how they perform under pressure.”

One of the successes from the last weekend was the play of the doubles teams that went 3-1 on the weekend. Espinosa hopes that the success from the doubles play can translate to success on the singles court as well.

“With doubles [gameplay is] a little more strategy, and there are certain set plays that you have to do and in singles we didn’t have any set plan that we executed,” Espinosa said. “I think if doubles success is going to carry over to the singles court we need to establish a game plan and execute it.”

Senior Marie-Christine Chartier finished the weekend with a singles loss but a doubles win, partnered with sophomore Nikki Reber. Chartier said the team still could still make improvements.

“We had some positives from the weekend,” Chartier said. “I think there are things that we need to work on as a team and individually.”

After last weekend the Cyclones can improve not just on single play, but also getting back in the flow of playing tennis and getting rid of offseason rust, Espinosa said.

“We were kind of getting the nerves out there and it’s good to kind of shake the rust out,” he said. “So the expectations are not necessarily high, because it’s the first tournament of the year.”

Junior Simona Cacciuttolo said that understanding the strengths and weaknesses will help everyone improve on the court.

“We can all improve in different areas of the game, as long as we improve together and play that way in both singles and doubles matches,” Cacciuttolo said.

This weekend’s team will be made up of mostly freshmen to get their feet wet, the team will be lead by senior Maria Fernanda Macedo, who sat out last weekend.

The UNI invitational will take place from Friday to Sunday in Waterloo.