Notebook: Iowa Faces Illinois and Northwestern

THIS WEEK
The University of Iowa women’s tennis team travels to Illinois to compete against Illinois on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) at the Atkins Tennis Center, and Northwestern on Sunday at 12 p.m. (CT) at the Combe Tennis Center. There will be no fans allowed at either matches due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can follow along through live stream or live stats, which are available on both team’s schedule page.

ON IOWA
The Hawkeyes enter the week 6-2 in the Big Ten after beating Penn State and falling to #10 Ohio State on March 5 and 7. Iowa won four straight in the Big Ten, matching their longest conference winning streak since 2019.

SCHMID’S STRONG START
Head coach Sasha Schmidt is having her best Big Ten season since becoming head coach for Iowa in 2016. For University of Iowa student-athlete, Schmid has topped her most wins (5) on March 5 against Penn State. Schmid has led the Hawkeyes to two Big Ten Conference Tournaments in her five years.

NOEL AND VAN HEUVELEN SETS B1G RECORD
No. 97 ranked Alexa Noel and senior Elise van Heuvelen have a combined Big Ten record of 15-1. Noel is 8-0 in the Big Ten with van Heuvelen following at 7-1.

VAN HEUVELEN MAKES HISTORY
Senior Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell tied for sixth all time (84) in singles wins after defeating Indiana’s Laura Masic and Purdue’s Csilla Fodor on Feb. 26 and 28. Van Heuvelen is only three wins away to pass Michele Conton, who is fifth of all time with 89 career wins. Her .656 career winning percentage in singles is sixth all-time among Hawkeyes with more than 100 career matches. Van Heuvelen’s 79 career doubles wins is fourth of all-time, and her combined 161 wins is tied for fifth of all-time.

UNDEFEATED RECORD
Freshman Alexa Noel is 13-0 playing at the No. 1 singles position. She has won 12 of 14 matches in straight sets. She is also 8-4 overall in doubles, teaming with Samantha Mannix at the No. 1 spot.
Noel is ranked No. 97 in singles and No. 7 among the top 10 newcomers in the International Tennis Association preseason singles and newcomers’ rankings. She is the third freshman in program history to appear in the ITA national rankings. Sonja Molnar reached as high as No. 75 in 2009 and Sam Mannix was ranked No. 125 in 2019. The complete 2021 ITA preseason rankings are available at wearecollegetennis.com.

NOEL EARNS BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Alexa Noel earned her first Big Ten weekly honor on the week of Feb. 15 when she was named Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week. Noel went 4-0 for the Hawkeyes against Illinois and Northwestern playing at the No. 1 singles and doubles position. A freshman from Summit, New Jersey, Noel went undefeated at the top spot against No. 8 Northwestern. She beat No. 57 Julie Bryne, winning a three-set tiebreak (6-4,6-7,10-5) at No. 1 singles, and teamed with Samantha Mannix to earn a 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles.

ILLINOIS BREAKDOWN
• Illinois 2-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
• Iowa ended a four-year losing streak on Feb. 12, beating Illinois, 2-4.
• Illinois leads the all-time series, 26-29

NORTHWESTERN BREAKDOWN
• Julie Bryne and Hannah McColgan are ranked No. 47 in doubles on the ITA Preseason National Rankings
• Northwestern in 10-2 overall this season, defeating No. 11 North Carolina State, No. 32 Wake Forest, No. 17 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Ohio State, and No. 43 Nebraska
• Northwestern is 8-1 in the Big Ten Conference, with their only loss to No. 23 Michigan
• Northwester leads the all-time series, 2-47
• Streak: Ohio State, 29.
• Last meeting: Ohio State won 5-2 in 2019.