Iowa women’s tennis secures its best win since 2010

The women’s team beat Nebraska on senior day while the men fell to Penn State and Ohio State.


Casey Stone

Iowa’s Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell sends the ball over the net during the Iowa Women’s Tennis match against Purdue on Feb. 28, 2021 at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Iowa defeated Purdue 6-1.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s tennis trailed No. 27 Nebraska after dropping the doubles point on senior day Sunday at the Hawkeye Tennis Recreation Complex but rallied back to win four singles matches and defeat the Cornhuskers, 4-2.

The win marked Iowa’s biggest win in over a decade.

Senior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell got the Hawkeyes on the board first, winning her second straight singles match, defeating Isabel Adrover in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0.

Van Heuvelen Treadwell is fifth in Iowa women’s tennis history in singles wins, tied for second all-time in doubles wins, and fourth in combined wins. She played Sunday’s match with some family members — who made the trip over from her native England — in attendance for the first time as a Hawkeye.

When she closed out her match the emotions flooded in for van Heuvelen Treadwell, who has been a mainstay in the starting lineup for the Black and Gold since the 2016-17 season.

RELATED: Three matches on tap for Iowa tennis teams this weekend

“I knew that was the last ball I was ever going to hit here as a player,” van Heuvelen Treadwell said. “It just very special. I’ve been here for five years, I am very, very grateful for every opportunity I’ve had here and it’s just the cherry on top today. We’ve done so awesome today.”

Freshman star Alexa Noel improved her season singles record to a perfect to 19-0 next for the Hawkeyes to move Iowa to a 2-1 advantage.

After junior Samantha Gilas dropped her match, freshman Vipasha Mehra nabbed her third singles win of the season to set the stage for junior Samantha Mannix to earn the match-clinching point for the Hawkeyes in dramatic fashion.

Mannix won the first set of her singles match decisively, topping Nebraska’s Maja Makoric, 6-2. But Makoric battled back to take a commanding 5-1 lead in the second set before Mannix flipped the switch and took the final six games of the set.

“I started out the second set a little too antsy and I was going a little too big,” Mannix said. “Got a little comfortable and wasn’t playing as smart, got down 5-1 pretty quick. [To come back] I knew I had to play good early in each game because the games I was losing I was getting down 30-love, 40-love, and was trying to come back. The main thing was trying to get one or two of the first points in each game and build from it.”

Just as Mannix used momentum to her advantage to come back from a four-game deficit, Iowa head women’s tennis coach Sasha Schmid believes that this win can give the team the confidence it needs to make a push to the end of the regular season and beyond.

“The season, in many ways, has been about us learning to win as a team and learning to beat other good quality teams,” Schmid said. “You get to the point where you are tired of being close and coming up short. You’ve got to get through it at some point and this is a win we can build confidence from.”

The victory over Nebraska moves the No. 37 Hawkeyes to 9-6 overall with just three matches left before the Big Ten Tournament.

The men’s team fell to 4-9 on the year after losing 7-0 at Penn State and 6-1 at Ohio State this weekend.