March 14, 2011
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By RICHIE ZAWISTOWSKI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a three-match road trip, the University of Iowa women’s tennis team returned to Iowa City on Sunday to take on nationally ranked Nebraska. Iowa fell to the Cornhuskers, 5-2, however three Hawkeye seniors did their part by winning their matchups.
Senior Jessica Young won her No. 3 singles match 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, while seniors Alexis Dorr and Lynne Poggensee-Wei won their doubles match, 9-8.
Dorr and Poggensee-Wei pushed their record together in doubles above .500 at 3-2 on the year, while Young snapped out of a mini-slump and improved to 3-6 in singles.
“It’s hard when you’re on a spiral and you keep losing and losing,” said Young, “But once you get that win, it kind of breaks the streak, and the confidence comes back and you know how to hit your shots again and everything will hopefully fall into place.”
After winning the first set, Young then dropped the second set, before winning the third and final set. With the match tied, Young said she simply wanted the match more than her opponent.
“The first set I was up big, I was up 5-1 and had set point,” said Young. “I was pretty much controlling every point and she started playing a lot better. She wasn’t missing early or anything, so it wasn’t so much me not playing well, but her playing a lot better. The second set she played really well and I wasn’t making any of my shots, and then I came back. The third set was really a duel. We both played well, and I just think I wanted every point a little more than her, and that’s why I think I pulled it out.”
“The experience they bring to the squad is the most valuable. They’re great players, they play two, three, four, for us, so they’re plugging the top of our lineup with talent. We’re getting there. I keep saying it, but every match is getting a little bit better, but we’re knocking on the door. We haven’t pushed it open but we’re getting there.”
UI head coach
The senior from Bloomfield, Mich., kept her cool and prevailed, as she ran with the motto of nothing to lose, everything to gain.
“Everyone has a little bit of nerves no matter what,” said Young, “But I’ve been having a tough time this year a little bit, I think today I just said one point at a time, and just went for it. I wasn’t nervous, because there wasn’t anything to lose; there was only stuff to gain, so I think that really helped me.”
The senior mentality along with great chemistry and comfort with each other helped Poggensee-Wei and Dorr win a tight doubles match, 9-8.
“We started off slow but then we worked our way back into it,” said Poggensee-Wei. “We’ve played with each other a lot over the last four years so we know each other and each other’s game so that helps a lot. We just know what to expect from each other. We know when one of us is not having a good day or when one of us is having a good day.”
The chemistry and feel that the two have developed for each other while on the court over the last four years is key to the two seniors’ success.
“I can always count on her to serve well and I know where she’s going to hit because I’ve been playing with her for awhile,” said Dorr. “So we just know each other’s games very well, and it helps communication while we’re playing. Lynn is just a great double’s player. She has great volleys and she is very strategic when she plays and I think that is one of her greatest assets. We just mesh together.”
UI women’s head tennis coach Katie Dougherty likes what she sees from the experience the seniors bring to the team. Although Iowa may have lost the match to Nebraska, Dougherty sees the squad improving, and at the top of the list are the three seniors Dorr, Poggensee-Wei, and Young.
“The experience they bring to the squad is the most valuable,” said Dougherty. “They’re great players, they play two, three, four, for us, so they’re plugging the top of our lineup with talent. We’re getting there. I keep saying it, but every match is getting a little bit better, but we’re knocking on the door. We haven’t pushed it open but we’re getting there.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday, March, 16, against LSU in Baton Rouge, La.