Iowa tennis notebook | Hawkeyes head into Big Ten Championships with second-round matchup Thursday against Indiana

Sixth-seeded Iowa will look for revenge against the 11th-seeded Hoosiers, who won the previous regular season matchup, 4-2, on April 2.


Cody Blissett

Iowa’s Samantha Mannix prepares to hit the ball during a tennis meet at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreational Complex in Iowa City on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Mannix won her singles competition. The Hawkeyes won, 4-3.

Matt McGowan, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s tennis team will face Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten Championships on Thursday at 5 p.m. in West Lafayette, Indiana. The sixth-seeded Hawkeyes received a first-round bye and the 11th-seeded Hoosiers defeated 14th-seeded Minnesota via forfeit in round one because the Gophers did not have enough healthy players to play.

Iowa comes in with a 12-8 overall record this season with an 8-5 conference record, while the 14-10 Hoosiers went 4-7 in Big Ten play.

The 68th-ranked Hoosiers have reason to be confident in their contest with Iowa, as they defeated the Hawkeyes, 4-2, in Iowa City on April 2. Even though Iowa took the doubles point for an early lead,  Indiana won four of five finished singles matches to take the victory.

Yet the Hawkeyes, who enter the tournament ranked 45th in the country, relish their chance to compete with a bitter taste in their mouths.

“That was a tough loss for us,” freshman Daianne Hayashida told The Daily Iowan at practice on Tuesday. “But that we have to play again against them [is like] revenge for us. I think with our best tennis we can beat them.”

The Hawkeyes demonstrated their superiority in doubles against the Hoosiers, taking two doubles sets by a combined score of 12-4 to clinch the point. Iowa’s No. 3 team of sophomore Barbora Pokorna and freshman Pia Kranholdt delivered a shutout victory over its Hoosier counterparts while the No. 1 combo of fifth-year senior Samantha Mannix and junior Vipasha Mehra took a 6-4 triumph.

Iowa’s three double pairings remained the same as against Indiana until the Hawkeyes faced then-31st-ranked Illinois in their regular-season finale in Champaign. In that contest, Iowa fifth-year senior Anya Lamoreaux returned to the court after battling illness for the past two months.

The Utah transfer sat out the last 12 matches, but on April 23 against the Illini, she partnered with sophomore Marisa Schmidt as the No. 2 team. They defeated their opponents, 6-3, to help the Hawkeyes snatch the doubles point and a claimed a  4-1 upset victory.

“She settled in nicely in that match [against Illinois] and played really well,” Iowa head coach Sasha Schmid said of Lamoreaux. “I’m happy for her and she definitely brings a lot of energy and really good, aggressive net play to doubles, which is really helpful.”

Schmid also said the doubles pairings against Indiana on Thursday would be the same as the ones against Illinois, so Lamoreaux will take Hayashida’s spot as ½ of the No. 2 doubles combo.

Mannix and Mehra will most likely enter a rematch against Indiana’s Lara Schneider and Saby Nihalani, who collected a team-best 10 wins for the Hoosiers throughout the season but lost to their Hawkeye counterparts on April 2.

In singles play, the Hawkeyes will run out the same lineup they have been featuring since their contest against Penn State on April 7, with Mannix in the No. 1 slot, followed by Schmidt, Hayashida, Mehra, Pokorna, and Kranholdt.

Mannix won her singles dual in the No. 2 slot against Indiana this season, but on Thursday will take on Schneider at the top spot. Schenider was a 2022 first-team All-Big Ten player and went 12-4 in singles this season.

Schmid called Schneider a player who’s a tough out, and one who doesn’t give up a lot of unforced errors. In her matchup against Schmidt, the five-star recruit out of South Carolina won in straight sets, with the second set being decided via tiebreaker.

Injury report

Hayashida did not practice on the court Tuesday but instead rode a stationary bike. The Lima, Peru, native said she has some discomfort in her left knee, but that she has more pain in her right elbow.

For Hayashida, the elbow injury occurred during Iowa’s 4-2 defeat of Rutgers on April 14, but she maintained that she only experiences pain during volleys and not on serves and forehands. She hasn’t missed any time in singles play and said she is progressing nicely in preparation for Thursday.

Up next

 If the Hawkeyes defeat the Hoosiers, they would advance to play No. 3 seed Illinois, who earned a bye to the quarterfinals as a top-four seed, at 5 p.m. on Friday. Iowa and Illinois faced off in the second round of the 2022 conference championships in Iowa City, and Illinois defeated the hosts, 4-3.