Hawkeyes Head to Illinois to Face Fighting Illini, Wildcats

April 5, 2011

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The University of Iowa women’s tennis team will play two Big Ten matches this weekend in the state of Illinois. The Hawkeyes (5-10 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) will play Illinois (6-8 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) in Champaign Friday at 3 p.m. (CST) before traveling to Evanston to face No. 16 Northwestern (11-5 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) Saturday at 11 a.m. (CST). Iowa is 3-6 in road matches.

“We’re excited at the opportunity to play Illinois again. I think that we’re both very different teams than we were in January and it will be a great match. We’ve been getting better every week and need to come out strong in doubles in both matches.”

Three Hawkeyes enter the weekend riding winning streaks. Senior Jessica Young has won her last five matches, four in Big Ten play, while playing at the No. 2 and 3 positions. The streak has pushed Young’s dual match record to one game over .500 at 8-7. Fellow senior Alexis Dorr is riding a three-match streak. All of Dorr’s victories came at the No. 4 spot, where she is 3-1 during conference matches. Junior Sonja Molnar has also topped her last three opponents. Molnar, the No. 101 player in the nation according to the ITA, has won all three matches in straight sets while playing at the No. 1 position. Molnar is 11-4 in dual matches. In doubles, Molnar and Young had won four-straight matches at the top spot before falling in the Hawkeyes last match against Purdue on April 3.

Iowa played three matches against ranked opponents while competing against Indiana and Purdue. Against Indiana, Sonja Molnar and Jessica Young topped No. 31 Myriam Sopel and Leslie Hureau 8-7 at the top spot in doubles while Molnar, 2-0 against ranked opponents, defeated No. 78 Hureau 6-2, 6-0 in singles at the No. 1 position. Molnar and Young, ranked 46th, also played a ranked opponent against Purdue when they fell 8-3 against No. 38 Jennifer Rabot and Mara Schmidt. Molnar and Young own a 9-4 dual match record that includes a 3-1 mark in conference play and a 3-2 mark against ranked opponents. Iowa will continue to face ranked opponents this weekend, as Illinois claims the No. 96 player in the country, Rachel White, as well as two doubles duos ranked in the top 70 of the ITA poll. Northwestern boasts four ranked singles player, including No. 16 Maria Mosolova, who is a perfect 12-0 at the No. 1 position this season. The Wildcats also have the No. 7 doubles tandem in the country in Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton. Abu Mushrefova and Hamilton are currently on a six-match win streak. Before facing Iowa, Illinois will play Illinois State Wednesday while Northwestern will compete against No. 20 Notre Dame Thursday.

The Hawkeyes and Fighting Illini have already met once this year. Iowa fell to Illinois, ranked 25th at the time, 5-2 while playing in the ITA Season Kickoff hosted by Georgia Tech. Sonja Molnar and Jessica Young beat the No. 15 duo of Rachel White and Allison Falkin. Molnar and senior Lynne Poggensee-Wei provided the Hawkeye scoring, as they both won their singles matches.