ISU tennis prepares for regular season and home opener

Brian Mozey

The ISU tennis team is preparing for the regular season after an impressive weekend at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational. The three seniors are getting prepared for their last home opener of their careers.

Seniors Ksenia Pronina, Meghan Cassens and Caroline Andersen are experiencing mixed feelings for the upcoming match and season.

“The seniors are bummed, excited and sad because it’s their final home opener and regular season,” Andersen said. “Those four years flew by so fast and now we have to look forward to a final year.”

Pronina was speechless when she realized this is her last regular season of her career. Tennis has been a part of her daily life throughout college, so it’s more than just a match for Pronina on on Jan. 30. 

The seniors and team have been competing in tournaments throughout the fall and now they have the opportunity to play cohesively. Pronina is excited to compete more as a team instead of as an individual.

The team played Nebraska-Omaha in October in South Dakota. The previous invitational included only doubles, so singles will be new between the two teams.

“UNO has a talented team with a strong number one who could cause us trouble if we aren’t aggressive,” said coach Armando Espinosa.

The only players that faced UNO in October were Andersen and sophomore Natalie Phippen. Espinosa hopes that the players scouted competition at that invitational to become more prepared for this matchup.

Espinosa wants to start out the match with energy and focus because Iowa State needs to win the first couple matches to boost their confidence.

The players and coaches believe they can win this match and are using it to get prepared for the Iowa match next week.  

“I want to focus on the Iowa and Utah State matches next week, but I don’t want to overlook the Omaha match,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa has been implementing strategies and stressing the idea of doubles because the regular season will depend on the outcome of doubles points.

“All we’ve been working on since Florida is doubles and the strategies for our pairings,” said junior Ana Gasparovic.  

Andersen, shoulder, and sophomore Samantha Budai, hip, have recovered from their injuries and every player is ready to compete.

The ISU tennis team will be playing its home opener against UNO on Jan. 30 at 12 p.m. at the Ames Racquet and Fitness Center.