Women’s tennis team extends win streak to school record 7 straight


By Les Mwirichia, [email protected]

Meet Vs Drake, UND, and Omaha

Les Mwirichia

It’s the first time in Iowa State school history that the (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) Cyclones Women’s Tennis team has won seven games in a row.

On Friday February 19, they defeated in-state rival (1-5) Northern Iowa 4-0 in one of the fastest duels of the spring season.

A good number of Cyclone fans gathered at the Ames Racquet and Fitness Center as the Cyclones hosted the Panthers. The energy on the courts were high as the Cyclone ladies broke their huddle with a loud and powerful shout, “GO STATE!”

The Cyclones began the doubles matches as Samantha Budai and Liza Buss took a quick 6-3 win over Panthers Jieke Stroobant and Elvira Lopez. Following them was what has now become to be a powerhouse duo of Alejandra Galvis and Annabella Bonadonna. They defeated Astrid Santos and Gisela Kemper 6-4.

Although Iowa State secured the doubles point, Panthers Sydney Wolfe and Eve Small traded blows in a long series of rallies which UNI won 7-6 against Regina Espindola and Ana Gasparovic.

“Since the beginning of the spring season, that third set has been undergoing some reconstruction, we don’t have it figured out yet, but it will come together,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

After losing in Cedar Falls to Northern Iowa last year the Cyclones redeemed themselves with three back-to-back wins from Alejandra Galvis, Claudia Toledo and Samantha Budai.

“Getting another win before getting into conference duel’s builds confidence and momentum.” said assistant coach Chris WIlliams.

Having five freshman on the roster might seem like a disadvantage in some cases, but for the Cyclones it’s actually a key component to their success. Freshman Claudia Toledo made her debut against Northern Iowa, she faced Sydney Wolfe in which she won 6-2, 6-1. Toledo gave the credit of her win to her teammates on how positive they all are.

“I think everybody has each others backs,” Toledo said. “Everyone is so supportive and has a lot of energy during practice, we have a lot of strong players and everybody is playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

Senior Samantha Budai said she is excited about having five freshmen alongside her. She feels that they are young and excited which brings a lot of energy to the team. She too credited her win to her teammates.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that your teammates are going to try their best, and everybody has a chance at their spot no matter who we play we have a chance to win.” Budai said.

Budai also said that their success begins in practice, where everybody is positive, focused and ready to play.

So for the Cyclones practice is where they will be until they travel to Minneapolis, Mn., on March 5. There they will have an opportunity to face two tough teams, (4-2) Buffalo and (6-3) Minnesota.

Winning those two matches would put the Cyclones in a great position for a possible national ranking, which the whole team is excited about.

“Being ranked is something we are all looking forward to, it will happen if we continue to do our jobs and win one point at a time,” Espinosa said.

Until then, it’s back to the gym for the Cyclones to tune up that doubles pair and make other preparations for their next opponent.