Takeaways: Tennis returns home after successful tournament play

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Thasaporn Naklo hits a ball against North Carolina State at the NCAA Championships on May 8, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of Iowa State Athletic Communications)

Chanler Twedt

The Iowa State tennis team had another successful week of tournament play in Nashville, Tenn. and Mt. Pleasant, S.C., for the June Stewart Invitational and the ITA All-American Championship.

Day One of the June Stewart Invitational

The tennis team won all of their singles matches. Iowa State’s Sofia Cabezas defeated Kentucky’s Carla Girbau, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. Iowa State’s Christin Hsieh defeated Vanderbilt’s MaryAnn Rompf. Hsieh was leading 3-2, and Rompf retired from the match. Iowa State Chie Kezuka defeated Kate Popova from Lipscomb, 6-1, 6-0. The only doubles match for tennis that day was Kezuka/Hsieh, who beat Vanderbilt’s duo of Dasha Kourkina and Amy Stevens in one set, with a score of 6-4.

Day Two of the June Stewart Invitational

Chie Kezuka took a victory in three sets, and Iowa State doubles team Sofia Cabezas and Christin Hsieh sailed with a win on the second day at the June Stewart Invitational, hosted by Vanderbilt University.

Kezuka rallied after losing the first set to defeat Miami’s Nada Dimovska, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Kezuka improves to 5-1 in singles this fall.

In Cabezas and Hsieh’s double’s match, they edged out Illinois duo Emily Casati and Shivani Ingle 6-2.

ITA All-American Championship

In the opening round of the ITA All-American Championships, Miska Kadleckova earned an upset win before falling to another highly-ranked opponent in her second-round match.

Kadleckova, the nation’s No. 91 player, cruised in her opening match against Auburn’s Carolyn Ansari, who is ranked No. 45, for her second career ranked victory. The Cyclone sophomore took the match, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to face South Carolina’s Ayana Akli. Kadleckova lost to No. 29 Akli, 6-0, 7-6, to conclude her singles portion of the tournament. Thasaporn Naklo dropped a three-setter in her opening round match, falling to No. 44 Taisiya Pachkaleva of Pepperdine, 6-1, 2-6, 6-7.

The duo Miska Kadleckova and Thasaporn Naklo defeated two higher-ranking opponents and reached the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships. Weather delayed Tuesday and Wednesday’s action, but the tennis team was ready when the skies cleared. Kadleckova and Naklo, coming into the tournament at No. 59, battled with No. 37 Page Freeman and Julia Lilien from Notre Dame. The duo followed that with a victory over No. 21   Solymar Colling and Elizabeth Goldsmith of San Diego. It is the highest-ranked doubles pair that an ISU duo has ever defeated in the program’s history. The final day of the ITA All-American Championships came short in the quarterfinals when the Cyclones’ Miska Kadleckova and Thasaporn Naklo lost to the No. 27 team of Jaeda Daniel and Alana Smith of North Carolina State, in two sets, 6-2, 6-2. The Cyclone pair finished the ITA All-American Championships tournament with a 2-1 with a couple of victories over ranked teams. 

The Cyclone’s tennis team will be back on the tennis court Oct. 21 in Iowa City for the ITA Regionals.