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Iowa State Daily

Cyclone tennis duo shines in season opener on the road

Nationally+ranked+at+54th+in+doubles%2C+Anna+Supapitch+Kuearum+%28pictured%29+and+Thasaporn+Naklo+prepare+for+a+serve+from+7th+ranked+Elise+Wagle+and+Kimmi+Hance+from+UCLA+in+the+third+round+of+the+NCAA+D1+Womens+Tennis+Championship+tournament+in+Ames%2C+IA%2C+on+Friday%2C+May+12%2C+2023.
Daniel Jacobi II
Nationally ranked at 54th in doubles, Anna Supapitch Kuearum (pictured) and Thasaporn Naklo prepare for a serve from 7th ranked Elise Wagle and Kimmi Hance from UCLA in the third round of the NCAA D1 Women’s Tennis Championship tournament in Ames, IA, on Friday, May 12, 2023.

The Cyclone tennis team had a variety of results to start the the Jaron Maestas era at the Wahoowa Invitational, highlighted by a doubles championship Sunday.

Iowa State’s tennis team is coming off its most successful year in program history, a 21-6 overall record, which was capped off with an NCAA quarterfinals appearance.

With former head coach Boomer Saia departing for Clemson in the offseason and some talented players no longer with the program, there were some concerns about what was ahead for the Cyclones.

Although this weekend was not a perfect start to the season, the Cyclones proved that they have the talent and coaching to be successful despite the amount of turnover they had.

Senior Isabella Dunlap and junior Anna Supapitch Kuearum started their duo’s season with a trio of wins on the weekend, including a 6-3 victory in the championship match Sunday. The championship win came against Princeton’s Maia Sung and Bella Chhiv.

Kuearum also took home the individual championship after her win Sunday against the Tiger’s Neha Velaga. Kuearum’s four wins in singles play backed up a top-120 preseason national ranking, which may rise based on the weekend results.

For Kuearum, success on the court is nothing new. Kuearum finished last season with a 20-10 record in doubles play and a 19-13 record in singles matches for the Cyclones.

Dunlap, a transfer student from Indianapolis and Central Oklahoma, finished singles play with a 3-1 record, including three straight wins after dropping the first singles match as a Cyclone on Friday. Dunlap has found success so far in her collegiate career, earning three doubles All-American selections and a singles selection in 2018.

Outside of the Cyclones’ new successful duo, the rest of the team left more to be desired.

Sophomore Juliette Nask and freshman Caroline Nicholls lost all three of their doubles matchups as a duo on the weekend and had one singles win between them. The lone singles win came from Nask in her matchup against Penn State’s Alexandra Nielsen.

While it was not a perfect outing for the whole team, the successful outings from Kuearum and Dunlap are signs that Iowa State has the tools to build off its historical season from last year. With Kuearum being the only returning Cyclone from last season, both Maestas and the rest of the roster and gaining experience as Cyclones.

The Cyclone season will continue Sept. 25 at the 25k UTR Pro Tennis Tour in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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