April 26, 2011
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The University of Iowa women’s tennis team will play in the first match of the 2011 Big Ten Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament on Thursday. The No. 9 seed Hawkeyes (6-15 overall, 3-7 Big Ten) will face No. 8 seed Minnesota (7-15 overall, 3-7 Big Ten) at 9 a.m. (CST) at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The winner of the first-round match will face host Michigan (20-3 overall, 10-0 Big Ten), the tournament’s No. 1 seed, in a quarterfinal match-up Friday at 9 a.m. (CST). Live scoring will be available on the women’s tennis schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Katie Dougherty
“We have a great opportunity in playing Minnesota again. We’re going to have almost completely different match-ups in both singles and doubles. With Alexis Dorr back in the line-up and fresh legs I expect a very competitive match. The key for us is going to be good starts in both singles and doubles and competing extremely well. We let leads slip away from us in doubles Sunday (April 24) and know what we need to do to correct that. Minnesota is a talented team and we need to take this occasion to step up and play our best tennis.”
TIEBREAKER DECIDES TOURNAMENT SEEDINGS
The Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten regular season in seventh-place tie with Indiana and Minnesota after all three teams posted 3-7 conference records. A tie break system was used to determine the seeding for the conference tournament, as Indiana received the No. 7 seed while Minnesota and Iowa were seeded eighth and ninth.
LAST YEAR AT BIG TEN’S
Iowa hosted the 2010 Big Ten Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. The fourth-seeded Hawkeyes topped fifth-seeded Indiana 4-1 in the quarterfinals before falling 4-1 in the semifinals to eventual champion Michigan.
GOLDEN AGAINST THE GOPHERS
UI junior Sonja Molnar improved to 3-0 in her career against Minnesota when she topped Alexa Palen 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 on April 24. The Guelph, Ontario native, enters Thursday’s conference tournament opener against the Golden Gophers having won her last two regular season matches.
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Junior Sonja Molnar ended the regular season with a 7-3 conference record for the second year in a row. She posted an 8-2 record against Big Ten foes as a freshman in 2009. Molnar is a two-time all-Big Ten selection and has competed at the No. 1 position throughout her career. Molnar, currently ranked No. 103 by the ITA, posted a 15-6 dual match record this season.
DOUBLES DUO APPEARS AT NO. 29
Molnar and senior Jessica Young appeared at No. 29 in the most recent ITA doubles rankings. The duo has climbed as high as No. 24 in the ITA poll after beginning the season unranked. Molnar and Young have defeated five ranked teams and have posted a 12-6 record (6-3 Big Ten) during the dual match season.