Three Big Takeaways: Tennis advances in Big 12 Championships


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Miska Kadleckova and Sofia Cabezas competes against the Oklahoma Sooners on April 8, 2022 at Ames Racquet and Fitness.

Andrew Harrington

Iowa State tennis put on a clinic in the first round of the Big 12 Championships Thursday, claiming a 4-0 win to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

No. 7 seed Iowa State came in with the mindset that there is nothing to lose, with Head Coach Boomer Saia going into the match saying Iowa State is just looking to do everything it can to win a conference title.

“Honestly, we have everything to gain from this tournament, and so I think we’re looking at it as an unbelievable opportunity to go try to win a Big 12 Championship,” Saia said Tuesday.

The Cyclones will face No. 2 Texas 9 a.m. Friday.

Clean Sweep

Saia said whichever team took charge and got out to a lead right away would take Thursday’s match. That team ended up being the Cyclones as the No. 3 doubles pairing of Ange Oby Kajuru and Chie Kezuka won 6-2 to get the team off to a hot start.

The No. 2 doubles squad of Miska Kadleckova and Sofia Cabezas won by a score of 7-5. This win gave the Cyclones the doubles point, and they would not look back.

Once the doubles point came through, the squad could not be stopped, earning three straight singles points to take the match with ease.

History continues

Iowa State tennis has seen historic success in recent seasons under Saia’s direction. And the Cyclones got more of it Thursday.

The Cyclones advanced to the Big 12 quarterfinals for the second time in school history and for the second-straight season. Iowa State lost to No. 9 Baylor in last season’s quarterfinal matchup.

Kadleckova, Kajuru and Kezuka each played a big role in the historic win for the Cyclones as the trio each recorded wins in both doubles and singles.

Kadleckova set the tone, winning 6-4, 6-0, to put the Cyclones up 2-0. This was followed by Kajuru, who earned her third straight win with a 6-3, 6-3 score.

Lastly, Kezuka narrowly escaped with a 7-6 win in the first set before dominating in set two by a score of 6-0.

The Cyclones’ win Thursday gave the program its most wins (16-5) since the 1986-87 season.

On to Texas

With the win Iowa State will now move on to the quarterfinals to face off against the No. 4 team in the nation, Texas.

The last time these two teams played, Texas was ranked No. 6 in the nation and dominated the Cyclones by a score of 6-1. The Longhorns finished the regular season 17-4 with three of the four losses coming against top-10 teams.

The matchup is certainly a tough one for the Cyclones and they can’t afford many mistakes if they hope to come away with a win.

The match is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.