Cyclones’ losing streak against KU extended to 34

Clint Cole

Since the arrival of coach Armando Espinosa, the ISU tennis team has snapped a few nasty streaks.

During the 2008-2009 season, his first season at the helm, Espinosa led the team to its first Big 12 dual meet victory in seven seasons, a 4-3 win over Kansas State. Last season, it took another step forward with two Big 12 victories against Missouri and Colorado in Ames.

Two weeks ago, Espinosa coached the team to its first Big 12 victory on the road since 1997 with a 5-2 victory over Colorado in Boulder, Colo.

One streak that will remain, at least for this season, is the losing streak against Kansas. After a 4-3 loss Friday, the Cyclones (10-10, 1-5 Big 12) have now lost 34-straight dual meets against the Jayhawks (7-9, 1-5 Big 12). The overall series record is 36-2 in favor of the Jayhawks.

The Cyclones were aware of the losing streak against the Jayhawks going into the meet and it stayed on their mind the whole time.

“We’ve never won against this team,” said junior Maria Macedo. “So I was motivated to win, and it worked.”

Macedo was dominant in her win against Monica Pezzotti. She took two straight sets 6-0.

Senior Liza Wischer carried the fate of the team in the third set of her match against Dylan Windom, with both teams showing their enthusiastic support from the sidelines. Windom defeated Wischer 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and 6-4 to secure the Jayhawks 34th-straight victory over the Cyclones. Wischer spoke with emotion after the heartbreaking defeat.

“I’ve been in that position a couple of times,” Wischer said. “We haven’t beaten Kansas ever, so I was thinking of that, and it didn’t happen.”

Espinosa said he talked to the team a little bit about the streak before the meet.

“Everybody came here thinking that they wanted to make a difference in this program,” Espinosa said. “That’s an opportunity for them to go out there and make that statement, make that change.”

The Cyclones finished the weekend with a 5-2 loss against Kansas State in Ames and will be trying to rebound on a road trip this weekend to take on Texas Tech in Lubbock and Baylor in Waco, Texas.