ISU tennis team earns needed road victory


Tomhas Huhnke/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Ana Gasparovic serves in game three of the first set of her singles women’s match against Texas Tech at the Cyclones women’s tennis meet on March 30, 2014. 

Brian Mozey

As ISU coach Armando Espinosa looked at the scoreboard after the match win at Kansas State, he knew it had been a while since Iowa State won in Manhattan, Kan.

The last away win ISU tennis recorded against Kansas State was during the 1986-87 season. Iowa State’s last win against Kansas State was at home during the 2008-09 season.

The ISU tennis team came out with a 4-3 victory against Kansas State on Sunday, which improved their record to 7-9 in the regular season and 2-2 in the Big 12.

“Getting one Big 12 win this weekend was crucial,” Espinosa said. “These are the teams we’re supposed to beat.”

With a 4-2 loss against Kansas on Friday, the team was in a need-a-win mindset against Kansas State, especially with Texas and Baylor coming to Ames on March 27 and 29.

“This win [against Kansas State] was huge for our team and individual confidence,” said junior Ana Gasparovic. “Now we know what we need to do to defeat Baylor and Texas next weekend.”

The team traveled to New York, Connecticut and Kansas during Iowa State’s Spring Break to play some unfamiliar teams. The team came out of the week with a 2-2 record and some high performances from singles and doubles play.

Freshman Anna Garcia said she noticed a team effort in the two matches in Kansas. The match against Kansas was more of a doubles performance where as the Kansas State match was more dominant in singles.

“In tennis, you have to learn how to forget a loss and regroup for the next one,” Gasparovic said. “It was nice to get a team win, but also an individual win.”

Gasparovic’s singles win at Kansas State was her first singles win since coming back from her wrist injury. She said it was nice to get that first win under her belt so she doesn’t have to worry anymore and can focus on the season.

The team hits the hardest part of the season next weekend when it faces No. 36 Texas and No. 6 Baylor. Even though these matches will be at home, Espinosa said the players need to rest their bodies and get their energy up to defeat the highly ranked teams.

The team played five matches in nine days during break, but there are no major injuries on the team. Espinosa said that there are a few sore muscles and tiredness, but after a day of rest, he expects them to be at 100 percent.

With six matches left in the season before the Big 12 championship weekend, Espinosa said the team could win a few more matches and turn some heads in the conference.

“If this team can win a couple more matches this season, our seeding in the Big 12 tournament could be higher,” Espinosa said. “This could help us get one step closer to winning a Big 12 championship.”