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Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones drop third straight to Old Dominion

Jacob Rice
Freshman Gala Arangio retrieves a tennis ball after a singles match against Missouri State, Lifetime Fitness, Urbandale, Iowa, Jan. 20, 2024.

Iowa State is feeling déjà vu as they lost 6-1 to Old Dominion Friday, marking the second time the Cyclones have lost to the Monarchs this season.

Iowa State started the match with a fast start in doubles, taking the lead 1-0 heading into singles play. Old Dominion took over and didn’t let Iowa State put another point on the scoreboard, winning the match 6-1.

The Cyclones have now dropped three in a row, falling to an overall record of 2-3. Iowa State now has two matches left before Big 12 conference play begins.

In doubles, Ashlee Narker and Valeska San Martin Ramirez played their opponents closely until pulling away to win 6-4. Isabella Dunlap and Anna Supapitch Kuearum built an early lead of 4-1 and sustained it to a 6-3 victory. Juliette Nask and Gala Arangio lost 6-0.

Heading into singles play with a 1-0 lead, Iowa State would try to build on that momentum. Unfortunately, Old Dominion won three singles matches in two games and meticulously earned a fourth win to cap off the 6-1 victory over Iowa State.

Lower half struggles in singles play.

After a strong showing in doubles, some of the Cyclones players ran out of gas too quickly. The fourth, fifth and sixth singles matches were all Old Dominion as they flipped the score to 3-1 to start the singles matches.

Arangio lost her match 6-2, 6-2, Nask lost 6-4, 6-0, and San Martin Ramirez lost 6-2, 6-4.

Depth is a crucial part of winning these matches, and if the bottom half of the lineup cannot perform, it will be difficult to win matches.

Dunlap and Kuearum continue to shine.

Iowa State’s first doubles duo of Dunlap and Kuearum are proving why they have earned that top spot on this roster.

On Jan. 27, Dunlap and Kuearum lost in a tiebreaker to Old Dominion but bounced back with a 6-3 victory Friday. This brings their record as a doubles pairing to 3-1 on the season.

Dunlap and Kuearum are the most experienced players on the team and are more keen on adapting to adversity during a match. The tandem continues to be a bright spot for this Iowa State team.

Losing record for the first time since the 2020 season.

After dropping to 2-3, Iowa State has a losing record for the first time in over four years, when they started the 2019-2020 season 0-1, losing to Penn State.

Losing has not been a common theme for the Iowa State women’s tennis teams in the past few years, but it may be necessary for this young roster to experience it. Head coach Jaron Maestas is coaching a new team with three freshmen who are still adapting to the faster pace of play of college tennis.

2019-20 was also the second season under decorated coach Boomer Saia, who had a losing record in his first season as head coach of the Cyclones in 2018-19.

Iowa State has a chance to bounce back on Feb. 16, against Iowa in the 52nd installation of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series at the Life Time Fitness in Urbandale, Iowa.

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Jacob Rice, Visual Editor
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    Morgan | Feb 9, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    Loving the tennis coverage!