Iowa State tennis looks to continue streak against UNI


Lani Tons/Iowa State Daily

Junior Samantha Budai prepares to hit the ball in the singles tennis match against Kansas on April 10. ISU fell 4-2. The Cyclones will face Baylor and Texas next week. Budai went 16-17 in singles during her sophomore year.

Andrew Smith

Iowa State tennis (8-2,0-0 Big 12) will travel to Waterloo, Iowa, to take on Northern Iowa (5-1, 0-0 MVC). The Cyclones want to continue their five game win streak against the Panthers at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Black Hawk Tennis Club.

Northern Iowa is also having early season success, and will not be taken lightly by the Cyclones. 

The Panthers come in on a three-game win streak, winning their last three matches by a collective score of 18-3. Their most recent win was against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks by a final of 6-1. 

The Panthers are led by Elvira Lopez who has gone 5-1 in singles this season and 3-2 in doubles. The Panthers are also led by Jieke Stroobant, who was most recently tabbed women’s tennis player of the week by the Missouri Valley conference. 

The Cyclones and Panthers met early on in the fall season at the Gopher Invitational. Iowa State emerged victorious in all three singles matches. Iowa State and Northern Iowa split a pair of double matches. 

The recent success isn’t anything to celebrate, though, coach Armando Espinosa said. 

“I feel like UNI is going to challenge us,” Espinosa said. “Anytime they play us, they gear up for it, its a tough one we just need to be ready to play.”

Espinosa also expressed concern about about playing at Northern Iowa on its own courts.

“We’re gonna leave the day before just to prepare a little bit better,” Espinosa said. “Last time when we went there on the same day we ended up losing. Their lighting is a little different and their courts are a little different so we wanna see that a little earlier.”

The players have have started to get comfortable with their lineup positions and with the recent success their confidence is building. Early success with doubles is still the goal for the Cyclones. 

“I think when we get the doubles points its easier to win the match because we only need three singles instead of coming back and bouncing back,” said Regina Espindola.

After this match the Cyclones will have a much needed break for a calendar week after they have returned from a trip to Florida. 

“As of right now we have a few people who are not necessarily injured but their bodies are taking a toll,” Espinosa said. “The biggest things right now is gearing up for the Wyoming and West Virginia opening.”

The Cyclones don’t plan to take a different approach to this in-state grudge match.

“It’s just another match where we are able to see who is going to step up,” Espinosa said.