Another up and down weekend for ISU tennis

Senior+Caroline+Hauge+Andersen+returns+the+ball+during+the+doubles+matches+against+Oklahoma+on+Feb.+22%2C+2015.+The+Cyclones+lost+4-2.

Senior Caroline Hauge Andersen returns the ball during the doubles matches against Oklahoma on Feb. 22, 2015. The Cyclones lost 4-2.

Brian Mozey

The scoreboard showed Wyoming with four points and Iowa State with three. As senior Ksenia Pronina looked at that scoreboard, she knew it was one step closer to a win in the Big 12 conference.

The ISU tennis team had a record of 1-2 this weekend as they lost to Drake on March 6 by a score of 4-1 and Wyoming on March 7 by a score of 4-3. The team ended the weekend with a 4-0 win against UMKC on March 7, but coach Armando Espinosa thinks these games could’ve been closer.

“It seems like that’s our story,” Espinosa said. “A 4-1 loss could’ve been potentially a 4-3 scenario.”

Espinosa has been noticing a trend within the last couple of weekends where on paper, it’s a 4-1 or 4-0 loss. Once a team wins their fourth point, the match is done because that team has won four out of the seven points that can be won. Some teams would play the match out, but with two long weekends and a short bench, Espinosa couldn’t allow for extra tennis after the match was clinched.

The main reason behind these matches not being closer is because the number five and six singles are struggling to step up.

“With the unexpected injuries, Caroline [Andersen] and Natalie [Phippen] have been thrown into these positions without any notice,” Pronina said. “That can be a hard situation to handle.”

If Phippen and Andersen lose their two singles matches in quick manner, the top four players don’t have enough time to win their matches to, ending matches at 4-1 and not 4-3.

“Over the past ten games or so, we could’ve easily had a few 4-3 losses and even 4-3 wins,” Espinosa said. “But when we have unexpected events and injuries take place, we have to rely on some inexperienced players.”

Junior Ana Gasparovic took one step in the right direction this weekend when she played doubles with senior Meghan Cassens against Drake. That was the only match she played this weekend because the trainers wanted her to be healthy for the Big 12 match against West Virginia on March 13.

Espinosa said that everyone else is doing fine. He gave the team a day to rest over the weekend before getting back to practice to start the week.

Even though the team is 4-7 this season, the team is confident in winning some big matches in the Big 12 conference. Espinosa is confident that the ISU tennis team will turn some heads in the Big 12 and improve on their record from previous seasons.

“Our record doesn’t show what we’ve really done this season,” said senior Caroline Andersen. “We’re going to surprise some people this Big 12 season.”