Iowa tennis notebook | Hawkeyes prepare for weekend matches against Purdue, Indiana

The Boilermakers are 11-4 on the season while the Hoosiers stand at 10-6. Purdue and Indiana both have an All-Big Ten player.


Cody Blissett

Iowa’s Anya Lamoreaux prepares to hit the ball during a women’s tennis meet at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreational Complex on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 4-1.

Matt McGowan, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s tennis team’s four-match homestand is set to conclude with conference matches against Purdue on March 31 at 1 p.m. and Indiana on April 1 at 11 a.m.

Even though the Hawkeyes rank 10th in the Big Ten in terms of overall winning percentage at .538, their 2-1 record in conference currently places them in sixth place in conference standings.

Previewing Purdue

While the 57th-ranked Boilermakers own an 11-4 overall record, they are .500 in conference play and are currently riding a three-match losing streak.

After dropping a narrow 4-3 decision at San Diego State on March 17, Purdue has managed just one singles or doubles win in the next two matches; a shutout against then-seventh-ranked Ohio State and a 4-1 defeat versus then-34th-ranked Illinois.

“I think [Purdue] has really good depth, and they provide a challenge at every position,” Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid told The Daily Iowan at practice on Tuesday. “I think that they’ve had a really good schedule leading up to this match.”

One particular challenge lies at the No. 2 singles spot, where Boilermaker senior Csilla Fodor has amassed quite the resume. A 2022 All-Big Ten first-team member, Fodor collected a 29-7 singles record across the fall and spring seasons, tying for the third most wins in program history. Most recently, the Boca Raton, Florida, native defeated the Illini’s then-nationally-ranked Ashley Yeah in straight sets.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ No. 2 singles player, fifth-year senior Samantha Mannix, was 13-11 in singles last season but has won two-straight matches heading into Friday’s contest.

“Sam does [resilience] very well, she has that down,” Schmid said. “She knows a match can be long, that if you have a bad set you can always rebound and come back … Sam brings a lot of experience and a lot of leadership on resiliency.”

Highlighting the Hoosiers

Even though Indiana is ranked 72nd in the nation and is 1-3 in conference, the Hoosiers sport a 10-6 overall record heading into their March 31 road match against Nebraska. They are coming off a lopsided 7-0 loss to Penn State while the Hawkeyes are on a two-match win streak.

Since the 2005-06 season, Indiana is 11-7 against Iowa, most recently earning a 4-3 decision last season in Bloomington. In that match, 2021-22 All-Big Ten honoree Lara Schneider defeated Mannix in straight sets. Now a sophomore, Schneider has taken over at the No. 1 singles spot after Hoosier Laura Masic transferred to Missouri in the offseason.

As a redshirt freshman, Schneider went 19-7 in singles. This season, the five-star recruit out of South Carolina is 10-3, and prior to Penn State, had won eight straight singles matches.

Up against her in the top singles spot is Iowa sophomore Marisa Schmidt, who had not lost in straight sets until the Hawkeyes’ March 4 matchup against Wisconsin, when she was defeated by then 62nd-ranked Ava Markham. Since then, Schmidt is 1-1 with two unfinished matches.

“Just trying to stay positive and ride out the highs and lows of a match without getting too frustrated when the other opponent plays well,” Schmid said of Schmidt. “Kind of expecting that [the opponent] is going to play well at certain moments.”

For Iowa freshman Pia Kranholdt, these conference matches are an opportunity to continue her recent stretch. In the Hawkeyes’ most recent wins over Nebraska and Michigan State, the Germany native collected two straight-set singles victories, her firsts of the season.

“Just stick to my game and do what I did the last two matches,” Kranholdt said. “Supporting my teammates, fighting, competing.”

Possible Lamoreaux Return

Iowa fifth-year senior Anya Lamoreaux participated fully in Tuesday’s practice. The Utah transfer hasn’t played for the Hawkeyes since their 4-0 loss to Iowa State on Feb. 24 due to illness. Schmid said Lamoreaux should be available to play in the matches this weekend and is “progressing nicely.”