Cyclone tennis blasts Sooners then is blanked by Texas A&M

Mark Pawlak

The ISU women’s tennis team shouts “Go State Go” after the team meeting following each meet.

After the weekend, they were able to go somewhere they had never gone before, celebrating a victory over Oklahoma for the first time in school history.

Friday’s action saw the Cyclones beat Oklahoma, 4-3. Saturday, they played some close matches, but lost to Texas A&M, 7-0.

In beating Oklahoma, Iowa State needed Edna Vazquez’s and Tara Goedjen’s come-from-behind three set victories.

“Edna and Tara were both down at some point during their matches and kept mentally in the match,” head coach Michele Conlon said. “They just really never gave up and they stayed playing aggressively, which really helped them draw a victory.”

Vazquez lost the first set, before coming back for the victory at the No. 2 singles position.

“Winning was, in my match, all about attitude,” she said. “I changed my attitude during the second set and it helped me keep fighting and going for it during the second and third sets.”

Goedjen won the No. 5 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

“Mainly, I had to stay focused and it took a lot of hard work staying in the points,” she said. “I just seemed more determined than she was, coming back after being down.”

Goedjen was down 4-1 in each of the first two sets.

She came back to win the first set, but couldn’t make up the deficit in the second set, even though she thought she should have.

With the match on the line, Goedjen pulled it out.

“I was down in the third, but came back and took it from her in the tiebreaker,” she said.

At the No. 3 singles position, Sabrina Evers won 6-1, 6-3.

In doubles action, the No. 2 team of Vazquez and Courtney Leese and No. 3 team of Goedjen and Kristin Gyaki were victorious.

“We knew we could beat Oklahoma and we did it,” Vazquez said.

“Beating a team such as Oklahoma is one of the milestones that you always want to build on,” Conlon said.

Against Texas A&M, the Cyclones kept some of the matches close, but lost to the ninth-ranked Aggies, 7-0.

The victory against Oklahoma capped off a five-game winning streak where the Cyclones’ improvement over the year was evident.

“I think they’re starting to believe that not only can they compete with these teams, they can beat them,” Conlon said. “I think we’re playing with much more confidence now than we were earlier in the season, and that’s a tremendous tribute to the team members.”

The team’s improvement has not been unexpected to Conlon.

“I think our team has a lot of people on it that work really hard,” she said. “They not only put forth good effort in practice, they find time outside of practice to work on their games, playing extra doubles matches and going the extra mile. Whenever you have that kind of attitude, that’s the standard on the team, you’re only going to get better.”

The season is nearing the end for the 6-8 Cyclones with only three more meets at home before the Big 12 Tournament.

Next weekend, Iowa State takes on two nationally ranked teams. Friday, against Nebraska at 2 p.m., and Sunday they face Colorado at 10 a.m.

“Our focus right now is going to be on developing good practices and there’s no question that we can come up with some victories in our next three outings,” Conlon said.