ISU tennis prepares for short break after two losses


Charlie Coffey/Iowa State Daily

Senior Ksenia Pronina serves the ball during the tennis match between Iowa State and Texas. Texas won the match 4-2.

Brian Mozey

Starting this year, the doubles point has been a big component in the wins and losses for the ISU tennis team. This weekend, the Cyclones lost both doubles points, resulting in a 0-2 homestead.

The team lost to No. 32 Texas 4-2 on March 27 and No. 7 Baylor 4-0 on March 29. Coach Armando Espinosa has been emphasizing the doubles point since the fall tournaments, when the season was just starting.

“The doubles point is very important because it allows the singles to have more confidence going into their matches,” Espinosa said. “But on the other end, it’s not vital.”

Looking back throughout the regular season, the ISU tennis team has a record of 7-1 when it wins the doubles point. The team is 1-8 when it loses the doubles point, which explains why Espinosa has drilled that detail into the players’ minds.

Senior Ksenia Pronina said that it’s difficult to always rely on winning four of the six singles matches to win overall, so winning the doubles point allows the team to relax a little bit going into singles.

With top-ranked teams like Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, players like junior Alejandra Galvis can’t always win their matches, which results in a loss for the team.

Galvis was coming into the Baylor match with an eight-match win streak in singles, but that streak ended in her 7-5, 6-0 loss.

“It’s always hard to see a teammate lose while on a streak, but I know she’ll focus and start a new one after our short break,” said senior Caroline Andersen.

The ISU tennis team will start a rather unusual break in the middle of its Big 12 regular season. The team’s next match is on April 10 against TCU, which makes for an 11-day break. The players say they will use the break in preparation for the Big 12 tournament in a couple of weeks.

“It’ll be nice for us to focus again on our strategies and play against each other,” said sophomore Natalie Phippen. “It will also allow us to get our bodies healthy again for the end of the season.”

Espinosa said he likes to have the break to reset and refocus the players’ energy for the end of the season. He wants to put more attention on making the points longer and getting adjusted to playing outside with a different type of court.

After the break, the team has four more matches until the Big 12 tournament starts April 23 in Waco, Texas.

“I think this team is capable of winning at least two more matches,” Espinosa said. “If so, we could slip into the top six in the Big 12 and get one step closer to winning that championship.”