March 14, 2012
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The University of Iowa women’s tennis team competes in Orlando, Fla. on March 16-17. The Hawkeyes play against Central Florida (4-8) on Friday at 1 p.m. (CT), before facing Harvard (4-3) at 10 a.m. Saturday. Both matches will be played at the UCF Tennis Complex. No. 73 Iowa is 5-5 (0-1 Big Ten) in dual play.
HAWKEYES TABBED BY ITA
Iowa was ranked No. 73 by the ITA on March 13. The Hawkeyes were one of 11 Big Ten teams tabbed in the poll. Iowa debuted in the rankings at No. 58 on March 6. The Hawkeyes were ranked No. 18 by the ITA on March 23, 2010, the highest ranking in program history.
PLAYING THE BEST
The Hawkeyes have played against ranked opponents in their last four matches. Iowa faced No. 17 Notre Dame, No. 38 DePaul, No. 32 Nebraska and No. 30 Tulsa. The Hawkeyes earned their first win against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 52 Purdue on April 20, 2010 when they defeated DePaul, 5-2, on March 4. Iowa has nine ranked opponents remaining on its schedule, including No. 13 Northwestern and No. 18 Michigan.
The Hawkeyes will meet both Central Florida and Harvard for the first time in program history this weekend. However, Iowa has faced teams from within Central Florida (C-USA) and Harvard’s (Ivy) conference. The Hawkeyes are 8-6 all-time against Conference USA opponents and 5-3 against foes hailing from the Ivy League.
HARVARD FEATURES RANKED DOUBLES DUO
Harvard’s doubles lineup will feature Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Horton. Tachibana and Horton were ranked No. 33 in the ITA’s doubles poll on March 13. The tandem is 4-2 in dual play. The Hawkeyes have played four nationally ranked doubles duos this season.
SONJA SETS SINGLES STANDARD
Senior Sonja Molnar is a team-best 7-3 in dual play. The Guelph, Ontario, native has played at the No. 1 spot in all 10 matches. Six of her seven wins have come in straight sets, including a 6-4, 7-5 victory over No. 121 Jasmin Kling of DePaul on March 4. Molnar has won 91 career matches as a Hawkeye.
NO. 3 STRENGTH
Freshmen Ellen Silver and Katie Zordani are 4-2 when teamed at the No. 3 doubles position in dual play. The pair leads the team with a 5-2 record, as they won their lone match when paired at the No. 2 spot.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Hawkeyes have won all five of their dual matches while playing at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Iowa last opened a season 5-0 at home in 2007-08, when they won their first six home duals. Iowa topped Marquette (5-2), DePaul (4-3), Alabama (4-3), Mississippi (5-2), Missouri (6-1) and Northern Illinois (7-0) that season. The Hawkeye are 16-7 at home under head coach Katie Dougherty.