Cyclones stay focused on tennis through VEISHEA week


Photo: Yi YUAN/Iowa State Daily

Simona Cacciuttolo takes a swing during the meet vs. Kansas State on Sunday.

Clint Cole

The ISU tennis team will be playing its final home matches of the season this weekend. The Cyclones (10-12, 1-7 Big 12) will play Texas A&M on Friday, and No. 25 Texas on Saturday.

This weekend’s matches come at the height of the VEISHEA festivities on campus. Coach Armando Espinosa said some distractions this week are going to be inevitable.

“They’re student athletes,” Espinosa said. “They’re going to be distracted by either exams or whatever social events are going on.”

Espinosa believes his team will be responsible this week and take care of business on the court, in practice and at the meets this weekend.

“Hopefully we’re recruiting kids that are responsible enough to know that they have two matches coming up and that they can’t do all the festivities,” Espinosa said.

Senior Erin Karonis has never been in town for any of the VEISHEA festivities in her time as an ISU tennis player.

“I don’t even know what it’s like,” Karonis said. “It’s easier to focus when you don’t really know how fun it is or what happens. We’re just happy to be at home rather than on the road.”

Karonis, like Espinosa, has faith that her team will stay focused on tennis through this weekend.

“He’s [Espinosa] never talked about it because we know it’s expected of us and we just wouldn’t dare think about it,” Karonis said.

Along with VEISHEA, the team now has to think about possibly moving inside this weekend with a chance of cold weather and snow.

“It’s always easier to go indoors from an outdoor perspective because you’re getting into perfect conditions, rather than going from indoor to outdoor, when you get into the sun and other dimensions,” Espinosa said.

Last weekend, the Aggies (11-6, 4-3) lost to No. 22 Oklahoma and followed up with a victory over Oklahoma State. The Aggies defeated the Cyclones in College Station last season by a score of 6-1.

The Longhorns (12-6, 7-2) are coming off two victories last weekend against Oklahoma State, and No. 22 Oklahoma. The Cyclones suffered a 7-0 loss to the Longhorns last year in Austin.

The Cyclones will play Texas A&M at 2 p.m. Friday. The final home meet of the season will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Texas.