ISU tennis prepares to take on giants of Big 12 Conference


Senior Ksenia Pronina returns the ball during her singles match up against Oklahoma on Feb. 22. The Cyclones lost 4-2.

Brian Mozey

The ISU tennis team will be the underdogs this weekend as they compete against the giants of the Big 12 conference. 

Iowa State will play No. 32 Texas and No. 7 Baylor this weekend. The team currently carries a bit of confidence with wins against West Virginia and Kansas State. 

“We’re supposed to win against teams like Kansas State and West Virginia,” said coach Armando Espinosa. “Teams like Texas and Baylor are more challenging wins.”

Senior Caroline Andersen said Baylor is ranked sixth because every spot in singles and doubles has a strong and foundational player. Each of the players is expected and capable of winning every match. 

The players are excited to come back home for the next two matches after a week of traveling in New York, Connecticut and Kansas. The players will use the home court advantage as a way to try and defeat the ranked opponents. 

“Baylor and Texas have been playing outside for the last couple months,” said senior Ksenia Pronina. “Playing indoors this weekend will give us a little bit of an advantage because we’ve been practicing this week indoors.”

Andersen said that they will be underdogs against both Texas and Baylor, so they have nothing to lose. The players have no pressure, which allows them to be more free and loose. 

Junior Alejandra Galvis said Texas and Baylor are supposed to win these next two matches, so the ISU tennis team needs to play its best and keep its strategy to compete and possibly win against these tough teams. 

“Ranked opponents are always nice to play because we want to win the upset,” Espinosa said. “Everyone is ready to play tough this weekend and never give up on their match.”

Throughout the past couple matches, the ISU tennis team has had the mentality of never giving up. In the Kansas State match, Iowa State lost the doubles point, but fought back to win the match 4-3 in singles play. 

Pronina said the particular mentality of never giving up will help them this weekend because the team has the confidence that it could possibly win the two matches and everyone is 100 percent healthy.

Espinosa said that after a long week of travel, practice has been lighter than usual and he said everyone is healthy and ready to play this weekend. Junior Ana Gasparovic’s wrist is feeling normal once again, but the team will continue to keep its eyes on her for the next couple weeks while she plays. 

“Playing Baylor and Texas this weekend will allow us to compete against some great teams,” Espinosa said. “I’m hoping the win against Kansas State will bring us some confidence and great tennis this weekend.”