Women’s tennis outlasts Kansas State in marathon

A 4-3 comeback victory for the women’s tennis team lifted its record to 2-0 at home this weekend, while the men went 1-1 out west.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s Samantha Mannix hits a forehand during a women’s tennis match between Iowa and DePaul at the HTRC on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Blue Demons, 6-1.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The women’s tennis match between Iowa and No. 50 Kansas State began at noon Sunday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center. By 3:30 p.m., there was still no winner.

The 4-3 marathon win for the Hawkeyes marked their first victory over a ranked opponent since 2014.

“I think that there was fight on all the courts today,” Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid said. “I was really happy with the complete team effort. The mindset definitely was, ‘You’ve just got to take it, you’ve got to step up and take it and not wait for someone to give it to you.’ I thought that that’s what we were able to do today, and I think that was the difference.”

After dropping the doubles point, senior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell made quick work of her Wildcat opponent on court one, claiming a 6-3, 6-0 win.

Then, the Hawkeyes dropped the next two matches on courts four and five to trail 3-1 and set up the opportunity for a major comeback.

Iowa got its second point of the match from sophomore Michelle Bacalla.

Bacalla had to battle back from early adversity after she dropped the first set, 7-5. The Skokie, Illinois, native fought back to take the final two sets 6-1 and 6-3.

“I told myself, ‘I got up 5-0 for a reason in the first set,’” Bacalla said. “Then slowed down, so I knew I could do it again, and I can close it out.”

Junior Danielle Burich was next into the winner’s circle for The Hawkeyes. She fought off pivotal points down the stretch to take the match 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

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With the score knotted at three apiece, it all came down to the match on court number two between Iowa’s Sam Mannix and Anna Turco from Kansas State.

Mannix won the first set via tiebreaker, and Turco took the second, 6-3.

In the final and deciding set, Mannix prevailed 7-6, again on a tiebreaker. The Hawkeye sophomore broke Turco’s serve twice in the final set to stay alive in the match.

“I talked with my coach and she said, ‘You need to break right now,’” Mannix said. “Just taking that mentality that there’s no option, that just needs to happen. I think I just took that into it, and it helped me through the match, and in the end it helped me win.”

She persevered through a controversial call and held her composure late in the contest.

Unlike professional tennis, where umpires call every point, players in the college ranks make the bulk of the calls, and Turco made the decision that a shot Mannix had hit was out. Mannix believed she had won that point — and the game — but didn’t get flustered.

“Initially, it’s frustrating when stuff like that happens,” Mannix said. “But you just have to forget about it and move on to the next points, because holding onto it doesn’t do you any good.”

After playing to a 6-6 draw in the final set, Mannix triumphed 7-5 in the tiebreak.

The Iowa women also defeated DePaul at home on Feb 20.

The Hawkeye men lost on Feb. 21 on the road at Utah, 4-3, ending their seven-match win streak. The team rebounded on Sunday, though, edging Denver by the same score.

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