Iowa women’s tennis prepared for duals against Missouri and Iowa State

The Hawkeyes will take on the Tigers on Tuesday and the Cyclones on Friday.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid (right) talks with Danielle Burich during a women’s tennis match between Iowa and Nebraska at the HTRC on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes, celebrating senior day, fell to the Cornhuskers, 4-2.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s tennis will play two duals this week. The 3-1 Hawkeyes will welcome the 2-3 Missouri Tigers to the Hawkeyes Tennis and Recreation Complex on Tuesday. Then, Iowa will travel to Ames for its annual Cy-Hawk match with 3-0 Iowa State on Friday.

Iowa was originally slated to face Missouri on Jan. 21. The dual was postponed to Feb. 15 because positive COVID-19 tests were recorded within the Tiger program.

The Hawkeyes have had to reschedule three of their duals in 2021-22 because of COVID-19. Iowa was slated to play Kansas and Kansas State on Feb. 4 and 6, respectively. The Hawkeyes’ trip to the Sunflower State was postponed because positive COVID-19 tests were identified in the Iowa program.

“I don’t think that any of us thought that we would be in a situation where we have three matches ahead to be rescheduled,” Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid told The Daily Iowan. “So, we’ve just tried to kind of mix it up and keep things interesting. The match is what I think has really been motivating. This has been a really unusually long stretch.

“I’m just excited to get going again on Tuesday,” Schmid added. “We’ll have a really great stretch of opponents, and we’ll hopefully get into a good routine here.”

Missouri has been struggling of late. The Tigers have lost their last three duals by a combined score of 18-0.

Iowa has won eight of its last nine head-to-head matches with Iowa State, dating back to the 2009-10 season. The Cyclones have never won two Cy-Hawk duals in a row.

The Hawkeyes have yet to lose a matchup at the HRTC this season, sitting at 2-0 in Iowa City. Iowa is 1-1 in road duals this year with a win over North Florida and a loss to Mississippi State on its résumé.

The Hawkeyes will likely be without sophomore Alexa Noel this week. The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year has been nagged by an ankle injury since May 2021.

In a now-deleted January Instagram post, Noel said she had undergone successful surgery. She did not disclose any details pertaining to the operation.

Noel took to Twitter on Jan. 6 to announce that she’ll be transferring to the University of Miami ahead of the 2022-23 season. Noel retweeted a Hurricane women’s tennis press release to confirm her intent to change schools.

Noel’s status for the rest of the 2021-22 season remains unclear.

With Noel out, Schmid has just six players at her disposal. Despite the numbers disadvantage, Schmid has been proud of the way her team has competed this year.

“What’s great is that I can’t really pick one [player that has stepped up],” Schmid said. “It’s not because there isn’t anyone. I think they’ve all done a tremendous job. I’m not just saying that. I heartfelt mean that. 

“We only have six available players, which is an incredibly unique experience,” Schmid added. “I’ve only ever had that one other time in my career. We all have a responsibility to each other. Everyone really needs to be bringing their best. The dynamic of that has been really empowering for everybody.”

Tuesday’s Iowa-Missouri dual will begin at 12 p.m. Friday’s Cy-Hawk match is set for 5 p.m.

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