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The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa tennis notebook | Hawkeyes open 2023 season, see ups and downs at Charlotte Invitational

The Black and Gold secured a 6-1 record on day one.
Cody Blissett
Iowa’s tennis team celebrates after a tennis meet at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreational Complex in Iowa City on Sunday, April 16, 2023. The Hawkeye’s won, 4-3.

The Iowa women’s tennis team kicked off its fall season at the Charlotte Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Sept. 22-24.

The Hawkeyes secured a 6-1 record on the opening day of the competition — four wins and one loss coming in singles and another two wins in doubles.

Iowa freshman Chelsea Bluestein, in her collegiate debut, clinched a hard-fought victory in three sets against Kaja Jacobson of Wisconsin. Sophomore Daianne Hayashida followed suit with a gritty performance, defeating another Badger in Ariel Johnson.

Iowa’s Barbora Pokorna and Pia Kranholdt rounded out the singles victories with commanding straight-set wins over Wisconsin’s Ellison Reynoldson and Ava Martin, respectively.

“Last year, I didn’t get to play because I was injured, so this year, I wanted to take it as an opportunity to win as many matches as possible and play good tennis that I’m satisfied with,” Pokorna said. “This and just working through difficult situations will help me boost my confidence moving forward into the season and into January as well.” 

The Hawkeyes also found success in the doubles competition.

Bluestein and Hayashida secured a tight victory over Wisconsin’s Johnson and Reynoldson while Pokorna and Kranholdt capped off the day with an 8-6 win against Jacobson and Martin.

“When [Bluesteina and I] are good together, we understand each other, and the communication was good,” Hayashida said. “I think that’s very important for doubles … We keep working, and we keep practicing more because we didn’t practice a lot together. [It] could be good if we play again together.”

Second day struggles

Iowa continued to win on day two in singles competition, securing three wins on the day.

Iowa freshman Jessica Matthews stood out with a 2-1 record, defeating opponents from both Charlotte and Wisconsin.

But Hayashida, Pokorna, and Kranholdt each lost their respective singles matches.

And while Pokorna and Kranholdt joined forces to defeat Lucia Aranda and Shona Nakano of Charlotte, Bluestein and Hayashida fell to Charlotte’s Ruxi Schech and Sara Suchankova.

Final day finishes

Hayashida started day three with a victory against Kansas State’s Maria Santos, setting the tone for the team.

While Kranholdt competed in a tight loss to the Wildcats’ Tereza Polakova, Pokorna sealed the deal with a straight set win to cap off her weekend.

Iowa coach Sasha Schmid said the weekend was a good starting point for quality tennis that helped her players get back into the groove of managing matches.

“I think it’s really a sign of the team moving forward when we have multiple players advancing deeper into … these tournaments because that really shows the depth of the team and our ability to line up one through six,” Schmid said. “[To] feel competent in all of those positions is really going to bode well for the team to be able to win matches.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will travel back east this weekend to compete in ITA All-American Championships, which will run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 in Cary, North Carolina.

Schmid highlighted the importance of the upcoming event in the team’s fall schedule.

“The tournament always comes right in the middle of our fall season, so we’ve been able to get into a better routine and have more practices under our belts,” she said.

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About the Contributor
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.