April 18, 2012
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The University of Iowa women’s tennis team closes its regular season this weekend. The Hawkeyes (8-12, 2-7 Big Ten) play at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex for the final time this season on Friday. Iowa hosts Wisconsin (11-10, 2-7 Big Ten) at noon (CT). The Hawkeyes conclude Big Ten play Sunday at No. 33 Minnesota (14-6, 4-5 Big Ten). Doubles play starts at noon (CT). Live scoring will be available on the women’s tennis schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
Iowa will honor three seniors Friday against Wisconsin as part of Senior Day. Seniors Ally Majercik, Sonja Molnar and Cassandra Escobar will play their final match at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
HAWKEYE AND BADGER TIES
Head coach Katie Dougherty competed at Wisconsin from 1999-2002. Dougherty was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers, winning 45 career matches in both singles and doubles. Former Iowa assistant coach Mira Radu is in her first season as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. Radu served as an assistant coach for the Hawkeyes for two seasons (2009-11).
HAWKEYES ALL-TIME VS. BADGERS, GOPHERS
The Hawkeyes are 9-35 all-time against the Badgers. Iowa fell at Wisconsin last season, 4-3. The Golden Gophers hold a 33-20 all-time advantage against the Hawkeyes. Iowa fell to Minnesota twice in 2011.
EIGHT UP, EIGHT DOWN
Senior Sonja Molnar is 8-0 in her career against Wisconsin and Minnesota. She owns a 4-0 record against both schools.
HOME SWEET HOME
Iowa is 7-2 at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex this season. The Hawkeyes won their first six home matches this season for the first time since 2008. Iowa is 18-9 at home during head coach Katie Dougherty’s three-year tenure.
TWO AWAY WITH TWO TO GO
Senior Sonja Molnar went 2-0 in singles during the Hawkeyes’ home stand against Michigan State and No. 14 Michigan last weekend. Molnar defeated Michigan State’s Olga Chernova, 6-1, 6-0, on April 13. The Guelph, Ontario, native downed Michigan’s Emina Bektas, 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9), on April 15. The wins were the 97th and 98th of Molnar’s career. With two regular season matches remaining, Molnar is two wins shy of joining Milica Veselnovic (113 career wins) and Laura Dvorak (102 wins) as the only Hawkeyes in program history to win 100 career singles matches.
Senior Sonja Molnar was ranked 65th in the ITA singles poll on April 17. Molnar jumped 38 spots up the poll in a week, as she was tabbed No. 103 on April 10. Minnesota’s Alexa Palen, Molnar’s likely Sunday opponent, appeared at No. 124 in the latest poll. Molnar defeated Palen, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, when the Hawkeyes and Gophers met on April 24, 2011. Minnesota also features a nationally-ranked doubles duo. Natallia Pntusava and Magdalena Wiecha are considered the 46th-best doubles team in the country by the ITA.
MOLNAR TABBED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Senior Sonja Molnar was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week by the conference office April 17. Molnar earned the honor for the fourth time in her Hawkeye career. Freshman Shelby Talcott was the last Iowa student-athlete to be selected for the award (Sept. 21, 2011).
ANOTHER RANKED OPPONENT GOES DOWN
Senior Sonja Molnar defeated 11th-ranked Emina Bektas of Michigan on April 15, earning her fourth dual win against a ranked opponent this season. Bektas is the highest-ranked dual opponent Molnar has defeated in her Hawkeye career.
TALCOTT BEATS RANKED OPPONENT
Freshman Shelby Talcott claimed the first victory of her career over a nationally-ranked opponent against No. 14 Michigan on April 15. Talcott downed No. 75 Brooke Bolender, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4) at the No. 2 position.