Hawkeyes Continue Big Ten Play at Home

March 28, 2012

Complete Release

The University of Iowa women’s tennis team continues Big Ten play this weekend at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. The Hawkeyes host No. 46 Penn State (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) and Ohio State (5-11, 0-3 Big Ten) on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT). Iowa will play outside on the Klotz Outdoor Tennis Courts for the first time this season, weather permitting. Live scoring will be available on the women’s tennis schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

“We’ve played three very good teams already in the Big Ten and are welcoming two more this weekend. Penn State is having a good year and Ohio State is always very tough. We’ve had a great, very focused week of practice and I expect good things from the team. The Big Ten is the strongest it’s been in years and that’s a positive for us. We will have a lot of opportunities to compete against good teams week in and week out. Our results have been a little up and down as can be expected with a young team; it’s our time now to put it all together on the same day. “

Friday’s match against Penn State will be Pink Night at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Fans are encouraged to wear pink. The UI Marketing department will distribute pink towels and wristbands. If the weather permits, Iowa and Penn State will play under the lights at the Klotz Outdoor Tennis Courts.

Senior Sonja Molnar defeated Allison Falkin of Illinois, 6-4, 6-3, on March 25. Falkin, ranked No. 92 by the ITA at the time, is the second nationally-ranked opponent Molnar has topped in dual play. Molnar first edged a nationally-ranked opponent on March 4, when she defeated No. 121 Jasmin Kling of DePaul. Molnar is 2-3 against nationally ranked opponents and owns a team-best 10-4 dual record this season.

The Hawkeyes hold an all-time series advantage over the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes. Iowa leads Penn State, 23-3, after beating the Nittany Lions, 5-2, in State College, Pa., in 2011. The Hawkeyes are 22-17 all-time against Ohio State. Iowa fell at Ohio State, 5-2, in 2011.

Senior Sonja Molnar is undefeated in singles against Penn State in her Hawkeye career. The Guelph, Ontario, native holds a 3-0 mark against the Nittany Lions. Al three victories were straight-set decisions, as she defeated Monika Mical (6-0, 6-2) as a freshman, Amy Simidian (6-4, 6-2) as a sophomore, and Petra Januskova (7-6, 7-6) as a junior.

Three of the Hawkeyes four Big Ten opponents have been ranked by the ITA. Iowa has played Nebraska (32), Northwestern (14) and Illinois (50). The Big Ten currently has eight teams ranked in the ITA poll, the fourth most of any conference in the country. In addition, Iowa and Ohio State have both made appearances in the poll. The SEC and ACC lead the country with 10 ranked teams apiece.

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.

Senior Sonja Molnar appeared at No. 115 in the ITA singles poll on March 27. Molnar has been ranked as high as No. 91 this season. Penn State’s Petra Januskova, Molnar’s Friday opponent, was tabbed 61st by the ITA. Molnar defeated Januskova, 7-6, 7-6, in 2011.