By Cody Smith
The Iowa women’s tennis team traveled to Dillon Tennis Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, with one thing on the players’ mind: win the final road match of the year.
The Hawkeyes headed west on April 14 to close out their troubled road season, and No. 46 Nebraska continued the trouble, handedly defeating Iowa, 4-0.
The match solidified a season of turmoil for the Hawkeyes. Battling through nagging injuries and continual changes in the lineup, Iowa will finish the season at 4-9 away from home. The loss against the Huskers puts them at 2-7 in the Big Ten, 10-12 overall, with just two matches left, against Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Although Iowa suffered a dominating defeat, there were some bright spots in the match that the players can mull heading into the next weekend competition.
Senior Zoe Douglas and junior Adorabol Huckleby managed to steal a victory for the Hawkeyes after defeating Claire Reifeis and Hayley Haakenstead in doubles (6-4). The win moved the two to 4-4.
Seniors Montana Crawford and Adrienne Jensen fought hard in a tough loss to Katerina Matysova and Vasanti Shinde, losing a tiebreaker (7-6). With that, the Huskers clinched the doubles point.
The Hawkeyes never capitalized on any opportunities, dropping singles matches at Nos. 1, 3, and 4. The Huskers secured the victory before the other matches finished.
“We are hungry to finish the season strong and on a positive note and to honor our seniors next weekend,” head coach Sasha Schmid said. “Minnesota and Wisconsin will be tough competitive battles for us.”
April 14 just wasn’t Iowa’s day, and it could never build any momentum — even season standout doubles team No. 68 Elise van Heuvelen and senior Anastasia Reimchen for the Hawkeyes fell to unranked opponents (6-2).
After dropping the first couple of matches in singles play, Schmid decided to get her team back on the road a little early.
Van Heuvelen’s, Douglas’, and Crawford’s matches all went unfinished with Iowa defaulting at the No. 6 position because it didn’t have enough healthy players.
Hopefully, a couple of days’ rest will do the Hawkeyes well and get some of their players healthy; they will finish the regular season next weekend. Sitting at 10-12, Iowa will try to climb back to .500.
Iowa will play Minnesota on at 3 p.m. Friday and Wisconsin on at noon April 22. Both matches will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex; admission is free.