Cyclone tennis sits at No. 7 in Big 12 with two games left

Iowa State junior Samantha Budai watches the ball in her singles match against Kansas on April 10. ISU fell 4-2. Budai scored with an 8-9 record at No. 1 singles last season.

Les Mwirichia

With only two games remaining in the regular season which also happen to be conference matches, the Cyclone tennis team has a chance to secure a fair seed going into the Big 12 Tournament.

Currently the Cyclones (13-7, 2-4 Big 12) stand at No. 7 out of the 10 in the Big 12 Conference.

In conference play, the Cyclones have come across tough opponents like Kansas, Baylor and No. 25 Texas. This past weekend ISU fell to No. 25 Texas 4-2. The Cyclones had an opportunity for an upset when they began the match winning the doubles point against the Longhorns.

The opportunity was there, but ISU to was unable to close the match. They fell losing all but one singles match.

“We are not out of it yet,” said head coach Armando Espinosa. “We have two teams to face this weekend and nothing has changed, our season isn’t over.”

Single play wins backed up by a double point victory has been the strategy all season long for the Cyclones. 

The only two conference victories so far have come against West Virginia and Kansas State who are both at the bottom on the Big 12 Conference.

“We are going to continue on with our strategy for these last two games, the season isn’t ending it is not over yet we still have work to do,” said assistant coach Chris Williams

A positive for the Cyclones, they have faced the top teams in the conference and have an idea of the level of play that they will be up against. Teams like: No. 15 Oklahoma State, Kansas, and No.25 Texas, who are the No. 1, 2 & 3 in the Big 12.

The toughest team in the Big 12 is arguably Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls are currently 7-0 in the Big 12 and are 19-4 for the regular season. OSU is favored to win the Big 12 Tournament this season and represent the Big 12 as a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But the Cyclones aren’t out of the running yet. This coming weekend Iowa State will host Texas Tech and TCU for their final home dual of the season.

No. 14 Texas Tech (18-4, 3-3 Big 12) is coming off of a 4-0 loss to Oklahoma State, will be looking to secure another win before entering the Big 12 Tournament.

The Horned Frogs (12-5, 4-3 Big 12) will test the Cyclones doubles pairing. TCU brings the No. 27 ranked doubles pair of Seda Arantekin and Caroline Wegner. Together they lead the Big 12 having a total of 21 victories this season.

With two big wins next weekend and a little bit of luck, the Cyclones could find themselves with a better seed in the Big 12 Tournament and could have a chance to play their way to the top.

“I thought we played well against Texas and Baylor, they were very tough teams though,” said sophomore Liera Bender. “Our season is not over yet, coaches want us to stay focused we still have practice and matches to play before the Big 12 Tournament.”