Hawkeye tennis aims to remain perfect this weekend


Shivansh Ahuja

Players shake hands following a doubles set during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Marquette on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes swept the Golden Eagles, 7-0.

Cody Smith, Sports reporter

The Iowa men’s and women’s tennis teams will continue their busy spring season this weekend with the women’s squad headed to Hanover, New Hampshire, and the men’s team staying home to host North Dakota, East Tennessee State, and Butler.

Iowa’s women’s team is ready for its first road test of the season, Dartmouth on Saturday and Brown on Jan. 27.

Last season, the Hawkeyes struggled on the road, winning only four of 13 dual matches. With five first-year players, Iowa is ready to challenge that narrative after coming out the gate red-hot with dominant wins over Xavier and North Texas last weekend.

“I am really pleased with the way we are competing,” Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid said. “I think the tennis aspect will grow from week to week, and we will continue to get better the more we play. From a foundation standpoint, for us to show a lot of competitiveness and grit are positives for us and will help us turn matches and be the difference-makers.”

One of the keys for Iowa’s success on the road this season will come down on whether it secures the doubles point. In both matches last weekend, Iowa picked up the doubles point, which led to two victories.

“I think doubles is probably going to be the X-factor for us,” Schmid said.

For newcomers like Samantha Mannix, Sophie Clark, Ashleigh Jacobs, and Cloe Ruette, this will be their first road test as a Hawkeye. However, if they play anywhere close to the level they did last weekend, then Iowa should have a good chance of winning.

“I’m very proud of the freshmen,” junior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell said. “They did so well last weekend in their first two matches of the season. They competed hard and did everything they were taught in practice.”

The men’s team will host three matches at the Tennis Complex. On Friday, the Hawkeyes will compete in duals against North Dakota (11 a.m.) and East Tennessee State (6 p.m.). The weekend will conclude with a match versus Butler at noon on Jan. 27.

Playing in front of the home crowd, Wilson said he wants the team to come out strong in doubles and get some early leads, something that the team struggled with last weekend in its victories over Marquette and Western Michigan.

“Hopefully, we can get off to a good start in doubles, and it’ll carry over to the singles,” he said.

The players are determined to out-perform the 2017-18 season, in which the Hawkeyes had one of their most successful seasons in program history. After adding a few key pieces this offseason, the Hawkeyes look as though they may have one of their deepest and most focused teams in recent memory.

“We have nine good guys on the team, all capable of winning at all different slots,” sophomore Joe Tyler said. “The whole team has the same philosophy. We all want the same thing, and that’s to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.”

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