ISU tennis wins first Big 12 match


Jenna Reeves/Iowa State Daily

Junior Alejandra Galvis returns the ball to her Oklahoma opponent on Feb. 22, 2015. The Cyclones lost 4-2.

Brian Mozey

Junior Alejandra Galvis was up 5-2 in the deciding third set, foreshadowing an easy win for Iowa State. After a blink, she was tied 6-6 and going into a tiebreaker for the game and team match.

In the tiebreaker, neither player could win by two until Galvis found the strength to prevail and win 13-11 to give Iowa State its first win against a Big 12 team this season with a final score of 4-3 against West Virginia.

“It was frustrating not finishing the match earlier, but it was nice to win under that pressure,” Galvis said.

Coach Armando Espinosa said he liked the win, but it could’ve been done without giving him a heart attack. He had confidence in Galvis to get the job done and get the win for Iowa State.

“We didn’t know what to do except run and surround Alejandra [Galvis] with hugs and cheers,” said senior Ksenia Pronina. “This was a big win for us because the Big 12 is one of the toughest conferences.”

Espinosa expects to compete and possibly defeat teams like West Virginia, Kansas and Kansas State in the Big 12, so being able to go out there and perform the task at hand made Espinosa happy.

The team played outside for the first time this season, which was a difficult transition, but it might’ve thrown West Virginia the wrong way.

“West Virginia is used to playing indoors and on different courts that can help their speed of the ball,” Pronina said. “Being outside today caused the players to rethink their strategy and we were able to adapt to it.”

The team was back to its full strength as junior Ana Gasparovic made her return to the courts. Her return might be one she wants to forget sooner rather than later.

Gasparovic lost 0-6 in doubles with senior Meghan Cassens and lost in number six singles 6-4, 2-6 and 0-6.

“There’s hesitation when I’m hitting the ball, but I know that will go away after practicing many times,” Gasparovic said. “I was just happy to see the team get a win and get ready for next week.”

During Iowa State’s Spring Break week, March 16-22, the ISU tennis team will travel around the country to play some different teams like St. John’s and Quinnipiac and some rivalry games against Kansas and Kansas State.

Espinosa expects a healthy lineup for the week ahead and will monitor the health of the players regularly, saying four matches within a week can take a toll on a player’s body.

The team’s first competition will be in Queens, N.Y. on March 16 against St. John’s. The confidence and excitement from the West Virginia game needs to roll over to these upcoming matches.

“The girls are confident going into next week, which is good, but they need to focus on winning doubles and sticking to their strategy,” Espinosa said. “If they do this correctly, we could defeat any of these teams.”