Iowa Comes Out on Top in Battle of No. 49s

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s tennis team left it all on the court in a battle of No. 49’s on Friday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. No. 49 Iowa came out with the 4-3 win against No. 49 Wisconsin. Both teams are ranked No. 49 by the International Tennis Association, which released its updated rankings Wednesday.

Iowa came out strong but fell in doubles as the Buckeyes captured the point. Elise van Heuvelen and Samantha Gillas came out ready to play, beating Charmaine Seah and Anna Makarova, 6-0, at the No. 2 spot. Wisconsin battled back with Ava Markham and Antonela Stoica defeating Vipasha Mehra and Danielle Bauers, 6-2, at the No. 3 spot. Alexa Noel and Samantha Mannix fell, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot to Wisconsin’s Nastasya Semenovski and Xinyu Cai, giving the Badgers the doubles point.

Iowa opened singles with the first win at the No. 1 spot. No. 97 Alexa Noel won in straight sets against Ava Markham, 6-1, 6-0. The freshman is now 17-0 in singles. Michelle Bacalla fell to Nastasya Semenovski, 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 5 spot to give Wisconsin a 2-1 lead. Iowa tied the score again, 2-2, with Vipasha Mehra’s 6-4, 6-3 win over Charmaine Seah at the No. 6 spot. The last three matches all went into three sets leaving the game-point in the air until the last match. Samantha Gillas defeated Anna Makarova, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot. Samantha Mannix put up a fight against Antonela Stoica at the No. 3 spot. The junior fell, 6-2, in the first set, but battled back to take her match into three after winning the second set, 7-6. Mannix lost, 6-3, in the third set to give Wisconsin the tying point.

Elise van Heuvelen captured the final point to give the Hawkeyes the 4-3 win at the No. 2 spot. The senior battled back after losing the first set to capture the last two.

“It was an up and down match, but that third set just dug in,” said van Heuvelen. “In that situation I think you have to be more mentally tough than physically tough, and just happy with the result.”


“I think that we have a great group, and the most important thing is the final ranking of the season. You have to keep improving, playing and taking the opportunities. You can rest on your ranking on March 19, but you can beat a good team on March 19.

“It was a really good team win. It was hard fought, and I think that it shows the grittiness of this team by getting four singles wins against Wisconsin today. I am proud of them and now we have to refocus and prepare for Minnesota on Sunday.”


The Hawkeyes remain in Iowa City on Sunday to face Minnesota. Action is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (CT). Live stats and video can be found on Iowa women’s tennis schedule page.

No. 49 Iowa, No. 49 Wisconsin
March 19, 2021 | 4 p.m. | Iowa City, Iowa | Hawkeye Recreation Tennis Complex


  1. #97 Alexa Noel (IA) def. Ava Markham (W): 6-1, 6-0
  2. Elise van Heuvelen Treadwell (IA) vs. Xinyu Cai (W): 5-7, 7-6, 6-1
  3. Antonela Stoica (W) def. Samantha Mannix (IA): 2-6, 7-6, 3-6
  4. Samantha Gillas (IA) def. Anna Makarova (W): 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
  5. Nastasya Semenovski (W) def. Michelle Bacalla (IA): 6-3, 6-2
  6. Vipasha Mehra (IA) def. Charmaine Seah (W): 6-4, 6-3


  1. Semenovski/Cai (W) def. Noel/Mannix (IA): 6-3
  2. Van Heuvelen /Gillas (IA) def. Makarova/Seah (W): 6-0
  3. Markham/Stoica (W) def. Bauers/Mehra (IA): 6-2

Order of Finish: Doubles: (2,3,1); Singles: (1,5,6,4,3,2)