Iowa women’s tennis defeats Missouri

The Hawkeyes lost the doubles point, but won 5-of-6 singles matches to take the 5-2 victory on Tuesday afternoon.

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Lillie Hawker

Iowa’s Michelle Bacalla serves the ball into play during a singles match at the Iowa Women’s Tennis meet in Iowa City on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. Bacalla won the match, 2-1. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Eagles, 6-1.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter


In its first match since Jan. 29, Iowa women’s tennis defeated Missouri, 5-2, at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Iowa quickly faced a 0-1 deficit after Missouri took the doubles point. Senior Samantha Mannix and sophomore Vipasha Mehra won their doubles match, 6-2, but Iowa’s Samantha Gillas-Marisa Schmidt and Barbora Pokorna-Michelle Bacalla duos lost their matches to drop the match-long doubles point.

The Hawkeyes were, however, successful in singles, losing just one match. Bacalla lost her singles match to Ellie Wright, 5-7,4-6. 

Bacalla fell behind, 0-4, in the first set and came back to tie. But Bacalla could not complete the comeback, falling in two sets. 

Gillas defeated Missouri’s Valentina Vazquez Pongruber (6-3, 3-6, 6-3), and Mehra defeated Missouri’s Elys Ventura (6-3, 6-3). Mannix stole a victory from Missouri’s Gabriella Martinez in a three-set thriller (6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)).

BIG PICTURE

Iowa finally got an opportunity to knock the dust off after two canceled matches because of COVID-19 earlier this month. 

“We had a pretty long layoff between competing, so it was good for us to get back and compete,” head coach Sasha Schmid said in a release. “I felt like we kind of looked like a team who hasn’t competed in 16-17 days. For us to get back out there and in some competitive situations will help us. I’m proud of the team for getting through a match today and we have a lot of great opponents ahead.”

The Hawkeyes now have a 4-1 overall record, with five more nonconference matches before starting Big Ten play in March.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Iowa went 5-1 in singles matches against Missouri on Tuesday, marking the third time in the 2022 season that the Hawkeyes won 5-of-6 singles matches against an opponent. 

Before they played the Hawkeyes, the Tigers had dropped 18 consecutive singles matches.

FRESHMAN STANDOUT

Pokorna, a freshman, claimed yet another victory Tuesday afternoon, defeating Missouri’s Romary Cardenas Rifka in two sets (6-3, 6-1).

Pokorna now boasts a perfect, 4-0 singles record in the spring season.

UP NEXT

The Hawkeyes will travel to Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday to take on the undefeated Iowa State Cyclones at the Mckee Indoor Tennis Complex. The dual will begin at 5 p.m.

The Hawkeyes have defeated the Cyclones in eight of their last nine head-to-head meetings. Iowa has never lost back-to-back duals to Iowa State.

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