Iowa women’s tennis falls to No. 59 Illinois, loses 11th straight match

The Hawkeyes have not won a match since Feb. 15.


Lillie Hawker

Iowa’s Samantha Gillas prepares to hit the ball during a singles match during a meet between Iowa and Marquette in Iowa City Sunday, January 16, 2022. Gillas lost the match, 2-1. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Eagles, 6-1.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s tennis team fell to Illinois, 4-2, at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex Friday.

The Fighting Illini kicked off the dual with wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles bouts.

With the doubles point in its pocket, Illinois proceeded to win three of five singles matches to clinch a victory in the dual. A sixth singles match between Iowa’s Vipasha Mehra and Illinois’ Shivani Ingle went unfinished.

The two points Iowa scored came from freshman Barbora Pokorna and senior Samantha Mannix. Pokorna won her bout against Illinois’ Ashley Yeah, 7-6, 7-6. Mannix beat Josie Frazier, 0-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Mannix had lost three straight matches before she defeated Frazier on Friday afternoon. The Nebraskan closed her bout against Frazier on a 12-3 scoring run.

In the No. 4 singles match, Illinois’ Megan Heuser downed Iowa’s Samantha Gillas, 7-5, 7-5. Gillas has dropped her last three singles contests.

In the No. 5 singles match, Illinois’ Kasia Treiber beat Iowa’s Michelle Bacalla, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

“I think today was the first time we actually competed on all six singles cards,” Iowa assistant coach Daniel Leitner said. “I know doubles is certainly a work-in-progress, and sometimes we just gotta flip the momentum.”

Big Picture

Counting Friday’s loss, Iowa is now 4-12 overall and 0-5 in conference play. The Hawkeyes started their season 4-1 and have since dropped their last 11 matches.

Iowa’s current 11-dual losing streak is the longest any Hawkeye women’s tennis team has ever endured. The Hawkeyes haven’t won a dual since Feb. 15.

Iowa has dropped the doubles point in each of its last nine matches.

Up Next

Iowa will host No. 37 Northwestern on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. 

The Wildcats are 10-5 overall this season and 5-0 in Big Ten conference matches. The Wildcats have won their last three bouts. Northwestern has outscored its last three opponents, 18-1.

Just six duals remain on the Hawkeyes’ schedule. Iowa will play four of its last six matches on the road.

The Hawkeyes are hosting the 2022 Big Ten Tournament at the HTRC April 27-May 1. 

Sixty-four teams make the NCAA Tournament in May. Iowa is not currently ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s top 75. Ohio State is the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the ITA Top 75, clocking in at No. 8.

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