Hawkeyes Gain Experience during Summer

Aug. 23, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Members of the University of Iowa women’s tennis team returned to campus with a summer full of experience after traveling throughout the world to compete in tournaments.

“We impressed on the team how important it was for them to compete over the summer and they put in the work and had some very good results,” said head coach Katie Dougherty. “Coming into the fall season fit and match-ready is essential to being able to compete at a high level immediately.”

Senior Sonja Molnar played in events in Gransby, Quebec; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Waterloo, Ontario during the summer. The three-time unanimous all-Big Ten selection enters her final year as a Hawkeye with a 73-24 (.753) singles record. In doubles, she has compiled a 55-28 (.663) record and has made back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances.

Fellow senior Ally Majercik had her best performance of the summer at the University of Denver summer ITA event. The Overland Park, Kan., native reached the semifinals at the event before falling to Vanderbilt’s Alex Leatu, who finished the 2011 season ranked No. 74 by the ITA. Majercik is a three-time letterwinner and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Hawkeye sophomore Christina Harazin posted a combined 15-3 record at the Purdue, Western Michigan and Indiana summer ITA events, winning the backdraw at all three events. The Indian Head Park, Ill., native also competed in doubles at the Purdue and Indiana events, teaming with incoming freshman Ellen Silver. The tandem reached the semifinals at Purdue and the quarterfinals at Indiana.

In addition to teaming with Harazin in doubles, Silver individually won the West Michigan Midwest Qualifier in June. A five-star prospect according to TennisRecruiting.net, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native was a back-to-back Michigan state champion in high school.

Shelby Talcott, also a five-star prospect according to TennisRecruiting.net, qualified for the main draw in Evansville, Ind.; Sumpter, S.C.; and Bethany Beach, Del. She also went 4-0 in singles at Intersectionals.

Iowa’s third incoming five-star prospect, Lake Forest, Ill., native Katie Zordani, advanced to the semifinals at the Indiana summer ITA event and won three rounds at the National Clay Court Championships in singles. In doubles, she reached the finals of the Midwest Closed Championships.

The fourth member of the Hawkeyes 25th-ranked recruiting class, Morven McCulloch, competed in the Twin Town Olympiad in Alba, Italy. McCulloch, who hails from St. Andrews, Scotland, won gold in singles and doubles at the event.

The increased experience will help a young Hawkeye team as they look to return to the NCAA for the second time in three years under Dougherty. Iowa will begin their fall season Sept. 16-18 at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn.