TENNIS: Cyclones end regular season with pair of losses

TENNIS: Cyclones end regular season with pair of losses

Dan Tracy —

Looking to end a six-match losing streak in preparation for the Big 12 Tournament, Iowa State made its final trip on the road this regular season for its third doubleheader against ranked opponents in No. 57 Oklahoma State and No. 37 Oklahoma.

Against the Cowgirls (11-8, 4-5 Big 12) on Friday, the Cyclones (9-12, 2-7) fell to an early deficit when all three doubles pairings came up short as the Cowgirls earned the doubles point. Hoping to battle back in singles, ISU junior Erin Karonis fought for three sets with Nataliya Shatkovskaya before falling 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

Sophomore Maria Macedo narrowed the deficit to 2-1 with a victory at No. 2 singles as she defeated Sasha Belova 6-3, 6-3. In the next two matches, however, the Cowgirls would seal the victory as Alisa Buslaieva downed ISU sophomore Tessa Lang 6-1, 6-2 and OSU’s Sarah Meghoufel beat freshman Jenna Langhorst 6-2, 6-0.

With the match decided, Oklahoma State’s Malika Rose increased her team’s margin of victory with a three-set tiebreaker win over sophomore Marie-Christine Chartier 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10-6) before ISU junior Liza Wischer closed out singles play with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory against Alexandra Cristello. The 5-2 win for Oklahoma State was their 34th consecutive over the Cyclones.

Win or lose against the No. 37 Oklahoma Sooners (16-4, 6-3) on Sunday, the Cyclones had already tied the most Big 12 victories for one season in program history with two on the year. However, a win over the Sooners could have helped improve their seeding for the upcoming Big 12 Tournament.

Once again it was a difficult day on the doubles court for the Cyclones as Macedo and Lang fell to the No. 28 pairing of Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Teona Tsertsvadze 8-4, Karonis and Langhorst lost 9-8 to Tara Eckel and Maria Kalashnikova, and Wischer and senior Alyssa Palen were swept 8-0 by Marie-Pier Huet and Kristina Radan.

At No. 1 singles, Karonis continued her tough play against ranked opponents, losing another third-setter to Constantinescu 6-4, 5-6, 10-7. Macedo picked up her second win of the weekend with a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Pier-Huet. However, the Cyclones’ plans for an upset victory would be thwarted as Lang lost 6-2, 6-3 to Tsertsvadze and Kalashnikova downed Langhorst 6-1, 6-1.

Oklahoma added to its victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win from Radan over Chartier and 7-5, 6-0 victory for Eckel against Wischer.

The Cyclones now (9-14, 2-9) finished the season at 10th place in the Big 12.

The brackets for the Big 12 Tournament were announced Monday and the 10th-seeded Cyclones will travel to Austin, Texas, to face a very familiar foe as they will once again meet seventh-seeded Oklahoma State in round one. The matchup between the Cyclones and the Cowgirls will mark the third time in the last four years the two teams will square off in round one of the Big 12 Tournament, with the most recent match coming last season when Oklahoma State ended Iowa State’s season with a 4-1 victory.

The time of the match is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin, Texas.