ISU tennis working on outdoor game after series split

Iowa State freshman Annabella Bonadonna jumps for the tennis ball at the match against Kansas on April 10. The Cyclones fell 4-2. Bonadonna ranked first nationally in her age group in 2011 and 2013 before attending ISU.

Les Mwirichia

The results of this past weekend’s split against Kansas State and Kansas had the same results as last season for the ISU tennis team. Ironically, the scores were almost similar too.

In 2015, the matches were played in Kansas, but the end result was a split in Ames, Iowa this year.

But the biggest and toughest opponent for Iowa State would be the outdoor elements, mainly the wind and the rain.

“It’s a complete difference going from playing indoors to outdoors,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “Today we played on about three different courts, a court of sunshine, a court of rain and overall windy one, but I give all the credit to all the Kansas players and coaches. They did a great job of being very prepared for anything.” 

Espinosa also credited the Jayhawks on their composure and willingness to come back and win from behind and said that is something he wants the Cyclones to learn.

“Kansas was able to play after being faced with some tough adversity, losing a player due to illness that morning put them in a difficult predicament,” Espinosa said. “I think they are ranked 34th in the country and in my opinion they should be much higher.” 

This was the third outdoor match for the Cyclones, and they’ve gone 2-1. Iowa State wants to improve its chances in the Big 12 Tournament, its going to have to step up its outdoor game and learn to play tough opponents in tough environments.

“When you go from playing inside to playing outside you will notice a big difference,” said coach Chris Williams. “Your ball will slow down or speed up depending on the wind which was a big factor for us today. The ball will break in different directions whether you want it to or not, you may think that you are hitting the ball hard when you are not hitting it hard enough to break the Wind, and that is something we have to prepare for going into next week.”

Freshman Regina Espindola echoed that statement. 

“Playing outside was kind of hard because of the wind, the cold and the rain,” Espindola said. “We tried to fight as hard as we could even though we didn’t get the results we was still a great experience.”

The Cyclones are hoping for weather permitting opportunities to practice outside this week as they prepare to to travel to Texas where they will meet up against Big 12 powerhouses Baylor and Texas.

“This week we are going to keep doing what we are doing and giving 100 percent in each practice and workout,” Espindola said. “I think we are going to have a great weekend down there in Texas.”