Cyclone tennis looks to send seniors out on a win in final Big 12 meets


Iowa State head coach Armando Espinosa watches the Cyclones at their match against Kansas at the Forker Tennis Courts on April 10, 2016. ISU fell 4-2.

Andrew Smith

Its no secret that the Iowa State tennis (15-8, 1-6 Big 12) team has struggled in Big 12 play. But with the Cyclones celebrating Senior day, it could be anyone’s best guess as to what could happen.

No.38 Oklahoma and No.9 Oklahoma State will make the trip to Ames this weekend, where they will bring stacked lineups.

On the other end of the spectrum is Iowa State, which is reeling from recent injuries. Coach Armando Espinosa doesn’t have a set lineup down.

“Right now the major issue is trying to stay healthy,” Espinosa said. “Sami [Budai] still has her illness, Margarita got an MRI for her ankle. So based on those few things it will dictate what we put out there.”

The Cyclones will kick off the weekend when they host the Sooners on Friday evening. 

The Sooners are led by No.30 Lily Miyazaky, who has dominated at the No.1 spot in singles for the Sooners, going 11-4 and slowly raising her national ranking.

Oklahoma has also been very successful in the No. 5 and 6 spot where Julie Byrne and Ann Selim, respectively, have gone a combined 11-2.

The Sooners also have been consistent in doubles. Two out of the three teams have winning records and the top team managed to sneak into the top 100 rankings at No.78.

“Regardless of record or ranking, regardless of what they have done in the past, we should just go into it as just another team to play,” Erin Freeman said.

The Cyclones then get Saturday to rest as they head back to the courts on Sunday morning to host Oklahoma State and honor the two seniors.

The Cowgirls come in boasting of the most powe- packed lineups in all the Big 12 with nine nationally ranked singles and doubles teams.

Oklahoma State is led by the No.7 singles player Viktoriya Lushkova followed by four others in the top 100, giving the singles lineup a huge advantage over any team.

The Cowgirls have the same kind of firepower in doubles, where they have two of the three teams in the top 25 and two other teams in the top 100. 

“Oklahoma State is probably the most talented team in the conference,” Espinosa said. “They are by far the most dangerous team out there.”

If the Cyclones can take anything away from these last two duals it should be used as preparation for the upcoming Big 12 tournament. They should have their hands full and must focus on the squad from Oklahoma before they look ahead. 

“We have to be on top of everything,” Annabella Bonadonna said. “We just need to give our 100 percent in every game, no matter who we face.”