Iowa Earns First Big Ten Victory

March 28, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – The 18th ranked University of Iowa women’s tennis team rebounded Sunday to prevail, 4-3, in an exciting match over Michigan State. The Hawkeyes improved to 11-3 over and 1-2 in the conference with their first win over a Big Ten opponent this season.

The doubles teams pulled through for Iowa today, posting wins in all three matches. Lynne Poggensee-Wei and Alexis Dorr played in the third spot. The first Hawkeyes to get a win today, the duo recorded an 8-3 victory over Christine Milliken and Michaela Silesova. Jessica Young and Kelcie Klockenga defeated Nicole Herzog and Elena Ivanova, 8-2, to secure the doubles point, while 23rd ranked Sonja Molnar and Merel Beelen finished doubles competition with an 8-4 win over Whitney Wilson and Amy Barton.

“Our doubles showed a complete turnaround today,” Head Coach Katie Dougherty said. “We really stepped up and imposed our game today.”

Singles competition was fierce with great competitors on both teams. Molnar was the first to take down her opponent, Silesova, 6-1, 6-0. Dorr, playing in the sixth spot, took care of business in her match as well, ending the day with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Renata de Paiva.

Michigan State was not going away, however. With the Spartans taking the points in the third, fourth and fifth spots, the score was tied at three all. The fourth and final point to determine the match came down to an intense face-off between Poggensee-Wei and Herzog.

“Michigan State put up a great fight today,” said Dougherty. “They competed really well, and it could have gone either way.

The Michigan State competitor took a quick lead, claiming the first set 6-4. Poggensee-Wei struggled in the outdoor elements, but pulled through to take the second set, 6-2. Herzog jumped ahead in the final set, 4-1, but the Lake Villa, IL native was not going to let this one slip away for the Hawkeyes. Poggensee-Wei showed amazing effort and fought back to take the lead 5-4. The match was not going to be an easy win for either challenger with the score tying at 5 then 6 to force the tie-break. The Iowa junior focused in and claimed the 7-2 tie-break as well as the winning point for the Hawkeyes.

“Lynne did a great job coming back from being down 1-4 in the third set,” Dougherty said. “Attribute this win to our overall toughness. We talk all the time in practice about taking advantage of opportunities and Lynne was able to do that today.”

The Black and Gold continue the Big Ten season with a weekend trip to the east. The Hawkeyes are set to face Penn State, April 2nd, and Ohio State, April 4th. The matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. (CT).

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