Cyclones earn six entries in latest ITA rankings


Jacob Rice

Thasaporn Naklo talks with her doubles partner Christin Hsieh in the Cyclones’ match against the Oklahoma Sooners April 8, 2022.

Adarsh Tamma, Sports Reporter

Iowa State tennis was well represented in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s latest tennis rankings list, as the Cyclones had six out of their seven players represented.

The new list, released by the ITA on Wednesday, was the first of the fall season and included the 125 singles players and 60 doubles pairs in the country. With many programs’ fall seasons finished after the Fall National Championships last week, the new rankings will most likely stand as the spring’s preseason polls.

The Cyclones made news as one of only three teams to have three singles and doubles entries in the rankings, joining North Carolina and Texas A&M in that feat. Iowa State had all three of their doubles pairs rank within the top 50 duos in the nation.

Seniors Chie Kezuka and Thasaporn Naklo were both included in the polls twice. Naklo was listed at No. 57 on the singles list after going 8-2 during the fall campaign, falling 18 spots from her No. 39 ranking to start off the year. The Bangkok native also tied for 40th alongside Kezuka after the pair went 3-2 together during the fall semester.

Kezuka added another piece of history to her collegiate resume by entering the doubles rankings at No. 17 alongside partner Ange Oby Kajuru, the highest ranking in Iowa State history. The duo was the Cyclones’ strongest during the fall, finishing with a record of 7-2 and becoming just the third pair in school history to qualify for the ITA Fall National Championships.

Junior Miska Kadleckova and Kajuru tied for No. 39 in the new rankings as a first-time pairing. The duo produced a major upset at the ITA All-American Championships after beating Syracuse’s Miyuka Kimoto and Polina Kozyreva, ranked No. 11 to start the season.

Sophomore Anna Supapitch Kuearum and junior Sofia Cabezas were both parts of the first-timers club in the new rankings. Kuearum won the most singles matches of any Iowa State player in her first fall season, going 11-3 and defeating 89th-ranked Kristina Novak of Oklahoma State along the way. She was rewarded with a No. 80 placing on the list.

Cabezas entered the national rankings for the first time after producing a record of 8-5 during the fall. The Valencia, Venezuela native ranked No. 114 in the new poll after a season that was highlighted by a victory over Northwestern’s 68th-ranked Clarissa Hand at the Wildcat Invite. She finished that tournament with a 3-0 record as she, Kuearum and Kezuka produced a combined record of 8-1 in singles play.

Iowa State will start out the spring season in January, although a final schedule has not yet been announced.