May 27, 2010
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The University of Iowa doubles team of Merel Beelen and Sonja Molnar competed at the NCAA doubles tournament in Athens, GA Thursday afternoon. The 14th ranked duo faced eighth-ranked Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist of Georgia. The Hawkeyes were unable to pull off the upset, ending their season with a 16-5 record.
Iowa pulled ahead early in the first set to take the lead, two games to one. The Bulldog opponents were not discouraged however and took control of the match, posting a 6-2 decision in the first set. The second set proved to be a battle through the first six points, but the Hawkeyes could not hold on and dropped the second set 6-2 to end the match.
“We played a great Georgia team today,” Head Coach Katie Dougherty said. “They are a very powerful and experienced team and we needed to play very well to beat them. Our execution wasn’t where we needed it to be and it hurt us. Merel and Sonja came a long way this season as a team and did some great things. I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts and my entire team’s season.”
The senior/sophomore duo was Iowa’s first doubles team to advance to the NCAA Tournament since Toni Neykova and Shera Wiegler competed in 2000. The pair was teamed up early in the season and put together winning streaks of five and nine before falling to Michigan opponents each time. One of the highest ranking teams in Iowa history, Beelen and Molnar posted wins over three ranked challengers en route to the NCAA tournament.