March 7, 2012
The University of Iowa women's tennis team travels to Lincoln, Neb., this weekend to square off against nationally-ranked competition. The Hawkeyes open Big Ten play Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) against No. 32 Nebraska (12-1), before meeting No. 30 Tulsa (9-2) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
HAWKEYES DEBUT IN ITA RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes appeared in the ITA's team rankings for the first time this season on March 6. Iowa debuted at No. 58. The Hawkeyes were last ranked by the ITA on February 22, 2011, when they were tabbed 65th. Iowa was ranked No. 18 by the ITA on March 23, 2010, the highest ranking in program history.
Iowa is 15-5 all-time against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers won a 5-2 decision when the teams met in 2011. The Hawkeyes won their only meeting with Tulsa on March 20, 2010. Iowa defeated the Golden Hurricane, 4-3.
IOWA DOWNS RANKED OPPONENT
Iowa defeated No. 38 DePaul, 5-2, on March 4. It was the Hawkeyes' first win against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 52 Purdue on April 20, 2010. Iowa has 10 ranked opponents left on its schedule, including top 25 opponents Northwestern (14) and Michigan (16).
MOLNAR'S BIG WIN
Senior Sonja Molnar topped No. 121 Jasmin Kling of DePaul on March 4, earning her first dual win against a nationally-ranked opponent. Molnar ended the 2011 campaign with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against No. 83 Natallia Pintusava of Minnesota. The Guelph, Ontario, native went 3-2 against nationally-ranked opponents last season. Molnar leads the team with a 7-1 singles record during dual play. Six of her seven wins have been straight-set decisions.
FRESHMEN PACE DOUBLES
Freshmen Ellen Silver and Katie Zordani beat DePaul's Cali Gustafson and Carolin Neumann, 8-5, at the No. 3 spot on March 4, improving to a team-best 5-1 in doubles during dual play. Silver and Zordani are 4-1 at the No. 3 position and 1-0 at the No. 2 spot.
Senior Sonja Molnar was ranked No. 110 by the ITA on Feb. 28. Nebraska and Tulsa both had a pair of student-athletes ranked in the poll. Mary Weatherholt (55) and Janine Weinreich (106) appeared for the Cornhuskers, while Samantha Vickers (67) and Anastasia Erofeeva (82) appeared for the Golden Hurricane. Molnar faced Vickers and Erofeeva in the fall. She downed Erofeeva 6-4, 6-2 on Oct. 23 and lost to Vickers, 6-1, 6-2 on Oct. 24. Nebraska also claims a nationally-ranked doubles duo, as Madeleine Geibert and Stefanie Weinstein were tabbed No. 23 by the ITA.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 at home this season with a 5-2 win over No. 38 DePaul on March 4. Iowa last opened a season 5-0 at home in 2007-08, when they won their first six home duals. Iowa topped Marquette (5-2), DePaul (4-3), Alabama (4-3), Mississippi (5-2), Missouri (6-1) and Northern Illinois (7-0) that season. The Hawkeye are 16-7 at home under Dougherty.