ISU tennis falls to TCU as it sends off its seniors

Iowa State senior Alejandra Galvis watches for the ball at the outdoor Kansas match on April 10. Galvis won her doubles match with freshman Annabella Bonadonna. The Cyclones would go on to lose overall 4-2.

Ben Visser

The two ISU tennis seniors stood on court one with their flowers and plaques. 

They were being honored for their contributions on Iowa State’s senior day.

Alejandra Galvis and Ana Gasparovic played their last matches at the Forker Tennis Courts against No. 34 TCU on Sunday. The Cyclones lost 4-0, but the ISU seniors are happy with the way the season turned out.

“It’s the end of a huge stage in my life,” Galvis said. “I’m happy I finished with this team. We fought as much as we could. We had a great season this year, that’s all I could ask for.”

The Cyclones finished the season 13-9 overall and 2-7 in the Big 12. Iowa State improved drastically since last season, when it finished 8-15 overall and 2-7 in the Big 12.

“Hard works pays off,” Galvis said. “I’m proud of everyone on the team because everyone is playing really well, and everyone is playing as hard as they can every match.

“It’s bittersweet. I’m happy because we had a great season, but I’m sad because this is over.”

The support from teammates and coaches is something Gasparovic noticed as soon as she stepped on the practice courts. Everyone is supportive during practice and they made sure that it continued all season.

Galvis and Gasparovic didn’t end their final regular season meet how they wanted to. Galvis and her partner, Annabella Bonadonna, lost their doubles match 6-1 and Gasparovic and her partner Regina Espindola lost their match 6-2.

Galvis lost her singles match 6-2, 6-4 and Gasparovic had won the first set of her match 7-6 and was down 2-4 when the meet was called because TCU had taken all the available points.

The team will have a week to prepare for the Big 12 Tournament in Stillwater, Okla.

“First off, all get healthy,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “That’s the main thing right now — rest a little bit and get healthy. 

“We have a big opportunity. Anytime we have an opportunity we have to take advantage of it. When the ball’s short, we need to take it.”

The Cyclones will be underdogs heading into the Big 12 Tournament. They’re seeded No. 7 out of 10 teams. 

Gasparovic believes the low seed could help.

“We can go out there and play a little more relaxed and maybe surprise some people,” Gasparovic said.

The Big 12 Tournament will be the last opportunity for the seniors.

“It’ll be great,” Espinosa said. “We’ve [achieved] a lot of [goals] with winning two matches in the Big 12 Conference. A lot of goals have been accomplished, but we still have [to get past] the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. The program has not done that, yet. We have one more. If we do that, that will really seal the deal for them.”