Regaining momentum in Arkansas

Les Mwirichia

As the Cyclone tennis team (9-2, 0-0 Big 12) approaches mid-season, it will be on the road for the remainder of March.

The Cyclones traveled to Jonesboro, Ark., this Wednesday afternoon where they will face off against Arkansas State Red Wolves  (0-7, 0-0 Sun Belt) on Thursday morning at the outdoor courts in Allen Park at 11:15 a.m.

“It will be a transition having to play outdoors,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “It’s different when the elements become a factor.”

Currently on the road, the Cyclones are 8-1, with their first away loss, 5-2, last week against Minnesota (9-4, 1-1 Big 10) who is currently ranked 45th in the Nation.

But despite that one loss, ISU has proved that home court advantage isn’t a determining factor on their performance. In the past four weeks, this team has managed to pick up seven wins in a row with only one home dual against instate rival Northern Iowa. That duel turned out to be one of the season’s fastest ending duels for the Cyclones. They sent UNI home without a single point on the board.

“We will be on the road for a while, we have a chance to pick up a few wins,” Espinosa said.

Seniors Sami Budai and Alejandra Galvis are playing at an extremely high level right now, Galvis has a season personal record 18-4, along with her many double pairing victories with freshman Annabella Bonadonna, coach Espinosa says that Galvis is a key component to the success of the team.

Also, the return of senior Anna Kuuttila creates depth for the Cyclones. Kuuttila rejoined the team this past weekend in Minneapolis for the Buffalo and Minnesota duels where she went 1-1 in her single duels, it’s more likely that not that she will be in he line up against Arkansas.

On a positive note, ISU got to Jonesboro early enough to get a good days worth of outdoor practice, before the duel against the Red Wolves.

“We haven’t played outside in two months, it will be a physical match.” Espinosa said.

For the Cyclones, a few road victories could be exactly what they need to pick back up the momentum before entering conference play in April.