Iowa women’s tennis shines at Purdue Invitational

The team won seven out of its 10 doubles matches over the weekend and went 12- for-22 in singles.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s Samantha Mannix hits a forehand during a women’s tennis match between Iowa and Colorado at the HTRC on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

After a sloppy outing in Austin, Texas a week ago, the Iowa women’s tennis team bounced back to win the majority of its singles and doubles matches at the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Iowa competed against Michigan State, Purdue, and Illinois in a three-day event at the Schwartz Tennis Center. No team scores were held.

The doubles pair of Alexa Noel and Samantha Mannix went undefeated on the weekend at the top spot, defeating the Michigan State pair of Maja Pietrowicz and Ayshe Can, 7-5. They would also beat Purdue’s Ena Babic and Csilla Fodor, 7-6, and Illinois’ sister pair of Emilee and Kawai Duong, 6-4.

Noel and Vipasha Mehra grabbed the first wins of their young college careers in doubles, as Mehra and her partner Danielle Bauers defeated their opponents from Michigan State, 7-5.

After grabbing her first singles win as a Hawkeye against Michigan State’s Mary Lewis, 6-3, 6-2, 97th ranked Noel went undefeated on the weekend. She took down Purdue’s Ena Babic in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, and Emilee Duong of Illinois, 6-4, 6-7, 10-4, all at the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

Iowa lost two of its three doubles matches against Michigan State on Friday with Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell and Vipasha Mehra falling, 6-4, and Samantha Gillas and Michelle Bacalla unable to grab a single game.

“We need to get back to work at doubles, that is something that has been glaring at the start of the season,” head coach Sasha Schmid said in a release. “I thought we had a good start in singles. That was really nice to see and important for us going forward.”

Iowa won five of eight singles matches on Friday with Danielle Burich (6-3, 5-7, 6-4), van Heuvelen Treadwell (6-1, 6-2), Mannix (6-3, 6-2), and Bauers (6-2, 6-4) all tallying wins alongside Noel.

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Iowa battled against Purdue on Saturday with two extra singles matches and a doubles match played against Michigan State.

Had team scores been counted, Iowa would have grabbed the doubles point as van Heuvelen Treadwell and Gillas defeated Purdue’s No. 2 pair Nathalia Wolf Gasparin and Zala Dovnik, 6-2.

Iowa lost only two singles matches against Purdue and both of the extra matches against Michigan State on Saturday as Mannix (6-3, 6-2) and Burich (5-7, 7-6, 6-3) continued their roll, and Gillas took her match, 6-3, 6-3.

Van Heuvelen Treadwell could not grab a single game in the first set of her match and lost, 6-0, 6-4, and Bacalla finished the weekend winless in singles after a tough match against Rut Galindo that finished, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4.

“I really felt it was important for us to come out and play well at doubles. It was hard fought, and a tiebreaker, which was a great experience,” Schmid said. “We needed to follow that up in singles and we had some pretty good starts. Purdue battled and we were pushed in some courts.”

Iowa swept Illinois in doubles on Sunday and split the singles matches.

The top three spots in the lineup made up of Noel (6-4, 6-7, 10-4), van Heuvelen Treadwell (7-5, 6-1), and Mannix (6-3, 7-3) all took out their opponents while Gillas (6-1, 6-1), Burich (7-5, 7-5), and Bauers (7-5, 2-6, 6-1) fell short.

“We had the opportunity to be in a tight competitive situation and play with some pressure on the line to close out some matches,” Schmid said. “I think we will get much better from this experience. I’m glad we had three days of great tennis in a row, and I think it was important for our team and we learned a lot.”

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