By the numbers: Iowa women’s tennis’ losing streak

After starting off the spring season hot, the Hawkeyes have quietly dropped three-straight dual matches.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s Samantha Mannix prepares to serve during a women’s tennis matchup between Iowa and Iowa State at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Friday, February 8, 2019.

Cody Smith, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s tennis team is getting closer to the midseason. So far, it’s been a tale of two seasons.

The Hawkeyes started with one of their best streaks in program history, going undefeated through their first seven dual matches. However, since then, Iowa has fallen back in the Big Ten standings, dropping three-straight matches.

The Daily Iowan looked some numbers to see what’s been going wrong lately with the team.

1 — Doubles points secured in last three matches

That’s right. The Hawkeyes have mainly been struggling recently because of their inability to secure the doubles point. In the first seven contests, Iowa captured all but one of the doubles points, allowing it to start 7-0.

That is no longer the case. The Hawkeyes have secured just one doubles point in their last three duals. This has resulted in Iowa losing to Northwestern (7-0), Penn State (4-3), and Kansas State (4-1).

RELATED: Hawkeye tennis suffers first losing streak of season

If the Hawkeyes want to get back in the victory column, they are going to have to get back to taking the lead early and securing the doubles point.

.500 — win percentage on the road

Ultimately, this has defined the Hawkeyes’ season to date. Iowa is just 2-2 on the road this season, compared to 4-1 at home. With the team being young — just two of nine players are upperclassmen — it’s no surprise to see the underclassmen struggle early in their careers, especially on the road.

Nonetheless, the losses on the road can’t be ignored. Besides playing at Dartmouth, where it won (6-1), Iowa has just one close road win and two demoralizing loses. The Hawkeyes lost to both Northwestern and Kansas State in their two most recent road matches.

Michael Guhin
Iowa’s Elise van Heuvelen and Adorabol Huckleby cheer on teammates during a tennis match between Iowa and Xavier at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Friday, January 18, 2019. The Hawkeyes swept the match against the Musketeers, 7-0.

0-4 — Samantha Mannix’s record in last four matches at No. 1 spot

Samantha Mannix is a true freshman. After being recruited by Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid from Nebraska, where she went 114-0 in high school, she has become one of the leaders for the Hawkeyes. Schmid has even gone as far to say Mannix is one of the most competitive players she has ever recruited.

To start the spring, Mannix was phenomenal. Playing at the No. 1 position, the most difficult spot, she posted a 4-1 record. But just like the team as a whole, she has cooled off.

In the past four matches, including the three that Iowa has lost, Mannix has failed to pick up a win in No. 1 singles.

She is certainly going to have to get back to her winning ways if Iowa is going to turn things around this season.

The Hawkeyes will try to turn the numbers around and improve on the road when they travel to Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday and March 10 to take on Furman and Florida Gulf Coast.

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