Tennis pulls together to defeat Colorado

Mark Pawlak

The Iowa State women’s tennis program took another step forward by defeating nationally ranked Colorado, 4-3, Sunday at the Forker courts.

In action Friday, the Cyclones fell to Nebraska, 6-1.

The Easter-morning match against Colorado was tightly contested.

“We all pulled together when we needed to, and we played tough and smart,” Kristin Gyaki said.

The Cyclones used a great comeback win in the No. 3 doubles match to propel them to the victory over the 58th-ranked Buffaloes.

The team of Gyaki and Tara Goedjen started the match in a 4-0 hole. They came back to cut the deficit to 4-3 but then found themselves down 7-4 and facing numerous match points. They fought back to take an 8-7 lead and won in the tiebreaker, 9-8, as Gyaki served an ace to nail down the victory.

“I think everyone fed off of our doubles match,” Gyaki said.

The match was tied 3-3, going into the No. 6 singles match. With the match on the line, Courtney Leese won 6-4, 6-4.

Noortje Cornelissen and Gyaki also earned singles victories, each winning in three sets. Cornelissen won the No. 1 singles match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, and Gyaki was victorious 5-7, 6-2 and 6-2 at No. 4 singles.

The No. 1 doubles team of Cornelissen and Sabrina Evers won their match 8-2.

This win was sweet for Iowa State.

“This is our biggest victory to date in our program,” said head coach Michele Conlon. “It’s even a step up from the Oklahoma win in a lot of ways because this is a nationally ranked team. This is the first time we’ve beaten a nationally ranked team in many years here at Iowa State.”

“It feels so good that it finally happened and went our way. We deserved it,” Gyaki said.

“It’s what we have been working for this whole year, Big 12 wins, especially against a team this good,” Cornelissen said. “We got the `W’ we have been wanting.”

The Cyclones’ improvement is evident in the match’s results.

“We lost to this team, 8-1, last year,” Leese said. “The player Noortje played, Noortje lost to her. I lost to the player that I beat, so that makes it even better.”

Against 47th-ranked Nebraska, the Cyclones won both the No. 1 singles and doubles matches.

Cornelissen was well on her way to victory in her singles match when she won by injury default 6-0, 4-1.

Cornelissen and Evers were victorious in their doubles match, 9-7.

The 7-9 Cyclones have their final home meet of the year against 16th-ranked Oklahoma State Saturday at noon.

Beating nationally ranked teams is an obstacle the Cyclones have proven they can overcome.

“These guys are not afraid to play. Not only can we compete against these guys, we can beat them. A lot of times it’s small steps like that, but I think we took another step today with our program,” Conlon said.