March 14, 2011
The University of Iowa women's tennis team will head to Louisiana this week to play a pair of matches. The Hawkeyes (2-7 overall) will take on No. 64 LSU (5-6 overall, 3-1 SEC) Wednesday at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium before facing Tulane (6-7 overall, 1-0 C-USA) Friday at Goldring Stadium. Both matches will start at noon (CST). Iowa is 1-4 in road matches this season.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Katie Dougherty
"We're excited to go down south and play outdoor tennis. LSU and Tulane are both good teams and we're looking forward to the challenge."
LSU is 2-2 at home this season, posting victories against Xavier and No. 27 South Carolina. The Tigers are currently on a three-match win streak, with all three victories coming against Southeastern Conference opponents. LSU was picked to finish fourth in the SEC's Western Division behind three team currently ranked among the top 40 teams in the country (Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas). The Tiger's top player is junior Whitney Wolf, who ITA currently has tabbed as the 52nd best player in the country. Wolf has posted a 4-6 record this season in dual matches. The Hawkeyes and Tigers both competed at the Wildcat Invitational this fall. Junior Cassandra Escobar won a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Hayley Everett in the school's lone meeting.
Tulane is currently riding a three-match win streak that includes a victory over Big Ten Conference foe Penn State. The Green Wave has also won their last two home matches to improve their home record to 4-3. Tulane has excelled at the top two singles spots during dual match play, as both junior Mariam Kurdadze (No. 1) and sophomore Emmy Levy (No. 2) have posted 9-4 marks. Kurdadze is a two-time first team all-Conference USA selection while Levy was selected to the league's second-team as a freshman. Tulane will host Akron tomorrow before facing the Hawkeyes.
LSU VS. TULANE
Tulane hosted LSU on Feb. 16. The Tigers were victorious 4-3 in a match that was decided by a third-set tiebreaker in the final match. In a matchup of the schools' top players, Kurdadze topped Wolf at the No. 1 singles position, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-2. The two schools are separated by about 80 miles.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes dropped a 5-2 decision against Nebraska March 13 at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Iowa's lone doubles win came courtesy of seniors Alexis Dorr and Lynne Poggensee-Wei. The duo topped Jennifer Holmberg and Janine Weinreich 9-8 (6) to improve to 3-2 on the season. In singles, junior Sonja Molnar rebounded after losing the first set to beat Madeleine Geibert 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 at the No. 1 position. Molnar, ranked No. 102 in the country, improved to 6-3 on the year. Senior Jessica Young improved to 3-6 with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Stefanie Weistein at the No. 3 spot.