Iowa State tennis finishes Gopher Invitational hot during doubles play

Iowa State freshman Annabella Bonadonna waits for a serve from Kansas at the tennis match on April 10. The Cyclones would go on to fall 4-2. Bonadonna attended high school in Venezuela where she won a national championship from 2010-2013.

Jack Shover

The Cyclones finished the fourth and final day of the Gopher Invitational with a hot streak of doubles play (4-0) to go along with a top doubles finish by Margarita Timakova and Annabella Bonadonna. The Cyclones also had a couple of impressive showings during singles play.

Maty Cancini finished in sixth place after losing to Kemper Gisela from Northern Iowa 7-5, 6-4 in the 5th place No. 1 singles bracket match.

In the No. 2 singles bracket, Bonadonna finished in 7th place when she defeated Vasanti Shinde from Nebraska 6-1, 6-4. In the same bracket, Regina Espindola beat Habiba Aly 6-0, 6-0 in the consolation finals.

Timakova fell in the 3rd place match to AnneMarie Emme from Minnesota 6-2, 7-6 (6). Timakova finished 4th in the No. 3 singles bracket.

The Cyclones finished 2-2 during singles on the day.

Espindola/Cancini won both of their doubles matches of the day. First, the pair beat Jaylee Yasunaga/Alex Revenig from North Dakota 6-2, then beat Morgan Brower/Sidney Brower from South Dakota State 6-1.

Timakova/Bonadonna beat Isa Sullivan/Masha Lobanova from North Dakota 6-2. In the finals round of their bracket, Timakova/Bonadonna finished first after defeating Katerina Tretyakova/Emily Van Dijk from South Dakota State 6-1.

The Cyclones finished doubles play 17-7 during the duration of the Invitational. While during singles play, the team finished 10-13.

Over the course of the weekend, the team had a pair of injuries in Margarita Timakova and Erin Freeman, along with a minor sickness suffered by Karen Alvarez.


Timakova only participated in part of the first day of the Invitational before suffering a ‘tweak’ in her leg. Freeman also experienced a “tweak”, but is experiencing discomfort and swelling from a previous knee injury, according to Coach Armando Espinosa who described the injuries as not concerning. 

When asked about how the team played tactically, coach Espinosa was pleased but did note that there was a lot of room to improve on the serve piece. Espinosa recognized an improvement in doubles play this weekend as the team struggled in that department last year.

Espinosa was impressed with how the team returned serves well, but when serving the players tended to place their serves in areas that allowed the opposition to easily return with a forehand and put pressure on the Cyclones.

In the upcoming week, the coaches will review match film to identify any deficiencies.

The next test will be the Bluejay Invitational held at Creighton next weekend from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.