Tennis falls to Big 12 conference co-leader

Mark Pawlak

The 12th-ranked Oklahoma State women’s tennis team came to Ames Saturday and defeated Iowa State, 7-0, at the Forker courts.

Oklahoma State won all six singles matches and two of the three doubles matches.

The Cyclones’ No. 1 doubles team of Noortje Cornelissen and Sabrina Evers won its match against Ashleigh Dolman and Maria Galoustova-Phillips, 8-6.

Dolman and Galoustova-Phillips are the 38th-ranked doubles pair in the nation.

The victory improved the record of Cornelissen and Evers to 10-7.

“Noortje and Sabrina played an outstanding match at No. 1 doubles. They’re playing really aggressively at the net and hitting smart shots,” head coach Michele Conlon said.

In singles action, the Cyclones didn’t fare as well.

At No. 4, Kristin Gyaki lost the second set, 7-5, after falling 6-1 in the first set.

Tara Goedjen at No. 5 and Edna Vazquez at No. 2 each lost their second sets 6-4.

Goedjen was beaten 6-1, 6-4, and Vazquez was defeated 6-2, 6-4.

“Our second sets were better than our first sets, that’s a tribute to the mental toughness of our team right now,” Conlon said.

Iowa State finished the regular season at 7-10 overall and 2-9 in the Big 12.

The Cyclones next compete in the Big 12 Tournament in Waco, Texas starting Thursday.

This match against Big 12 co-leader Oklahoma State was a good preparation for the tournament, Conlon said.

“There’s probably not a better team that we could have played to get ready for next weekend in the Big 12 tournament,” she said. “We had two goals going in, first to win the meet and secondly to be well prepared for the Big 12 tournament next week. Certainly when you’re up against a team that is ranked 12th in the country, you’re going to have to fight awfully hard. The better the opponents, the more you learn to elevate your game and that’s what we need to do for the tournament.”

Conlon explained that despite losing, the team must focus on the positives entering Big 12 tournament action.

“Certainly, whenever you lose there’s always a certain level of disappointment,” Conlon said. “It’s the time of year where we need to look at the good things we have done so that we can carry momentum and confidence into the Big 12 Tournament.”