ISU tennis prepares for last regular season matches


Courtesy of ISU Athletics

Seniors Ksenia Pronina, Meghan Cassens and Caroline Andersen will compete in their final regular season matches Friday and Saturday.

Brian Mozey

Every season must end. For the ISU tennis team, the book on the regular season is closing this weekend.

Iowa State has two more home matches this weekend before traveling to Waco, Texas for the Big 12 tournament. The team will take on No. 10 Oklahoma State on April 17 and Augustana on April 18. These will be the last regular season matches for the seniors on the team.

“It’s a weird feeling that we’re one step closer to being done at Iowa State,” said senior Ksenia Pronina. “I’m sure it’ll be an emotional time but we can’t let our emotions get in the way of playing.”

Senior day will take place against Augustana, and seniors Meghan Cassens, Caroline Andersen and Pronina are preparing themselves emotionally for the big day.

Even though this weekend is centered on the departure of the three seniors, coach Armando Espinosa said he needs the team to be focused on winning the two matches against some tough teams.

“We’ll be playing on [April 23] no matter what happens this weekend, but winning these last two matches would build our confidence going into the Big 12 tournament,” Espinosa said.

Iowa State has a record of 2-6 in the Big 12 conference and 7-13 overall this regular season, and is eighth in the standings. The team could finish seventh with a win against Oklahoma State and an Oklahoma loss to West Virginia on Saturday.

Junior Alejandra Galvis said playing on the 16th is not entirely bad because it allows the players to stay in rhythm if the team continues to advance in the rounds of the tournament.

“The Big 12 tournament is coming soon, but we need to focus all of our attention on this weekend,” said senior Caroline Andersen. “Otherwise, we’re going to lose our last couple matches in the regular season.”

Iowa State will compete against three top-10 players from Oklahoma State during singles play.

Augustana, the Cyclones opponent on April 18,  plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and has an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II tournament. The team is 18-2 overall and 11-0 in conference this season, but Iowa State will be the first Division I team Augustana has faced this season.

Espinosa thinks it will be an interesting match because the two teams are in different divisions and their game strategies are entirely different.

“It’s always fun to play teams that aren’t in your conference because you never get to play them all that often,” Pronina said.

Espinosa said he hopes this weekend is memorable for the seniors because he’s truly grateful for everything they’ve done for the ISU tennis program. He also said winning both of these matches would be icing on the cake for the entrance of the Big 12 tournament next weekend.