The University of Iowa women’s tennis team opens its 2022 season on Sunday with a pair of matches against Marquette and Drake. The Hawkeyes will first take on Marquette at 11 a.m. (CT) followed by Drake at 4 p.m. (CT). Admission is free or you can follow along on StatBroadcast or Playsight, which can be found on the women’s tennis schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
The Hawkeyes enter the 2022 season with two fall invites under their belt. Iowa competed in the Northwestern Invitational followed by the UNLV Invitational. Alexa Noel competed in the Singles ITA All-American Championships, advancing to the championship match. The sophomore also competed in doubles with her partner Samantha Mannix. Iowa also hosted ITA Central Regionals, where 27 different schools in the region participated. Two Hawkeyes, Barbora Pokorna and Samantha Mannix, advanced to the singles semifinal round.
• Iowa ended its 2021 season ranked No. 41 in the final ITA College Rankings. The Hawkeyes reached as high as No. 37 on March 24, the highest team ranking since 2011, when they were ranked No. 30.
• Iowa finished with a 12-6 overall record and a 12-4 Big Ten record, the best in program history. The Hawkeyes competed against eight-ranked teams, 10 ranked singles players, and four-ranked doubles team throughout 2021.
NOEL RANKED THIRD IN THE NATION
Sophomore Alexa Noel is ranked No. 3 in Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national rankings. The rankings are a result of individual competition that took place this fall across the country. Noel’s No. 3 rankings is the highest in program history. The Summit, New Jersey, native won seven matches this fall, including notching a win over both the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the nation. Noel faced top-ranked Eryn Cayetano of USC and second-ranked Sarah Hamner of South Carolina twice each this fall, going 1-1 against both players. Noel bounced Cayetano in the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships in South Carolina and Hamner in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Fall Championships in California.
NOEL, CONFERENCE AND BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alexa Noel ended her freshman career, 24-1, becoming the first Hawkeye in program history to earn Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Noel was ranked as high as No 13 nationally, previously the highest-ranking of any player in program history.
• Noel earned the Big Ten’s Conference automatic berth and a seed at the national tournament. The seed guaranteed All-American recognition, making Noel the first All-American in program history, and the third player in program history to make the singles draw at the NCAA Championships. The New Jersey native fell in the championship to Sarah Hamner of South Carolina in the third set after she retired due to injury.
• Noel earned four Big Ten weekly honors, which ties Sonja Mionar for most in program history. Noel is the first player in program history to win the Big Ten Weekly honors for times in a season and one of three players to win the award at least three times in a career. She also is one of three players in the Big Ten Conference history to earn the weekly award four times in a single season.
Freshman Barbora Pokorna, Marisa Schmidt, and Olivia Weiss are all making their spring debut for the Hawkeyes.
• Pokorna, who is from the Czech Republic, was a singles winner at U18 regional championship, a doubles semifinalist, at the U18 National championships, a two-time doubles finalist at the U14 national championship, and nationally ranked inside the top 10 each year for players born in 2001.
• Schmidt, the native from Germany, ascended as high as No. 63 this past year in the German National Women’s Open Rankings and has been ranked in the Top 20 Junior Rankings. Schmidt is the U21 champion and women’s open-runner in the Baden-Wuerttemberg Championships.
• Weiss, born and raised in Michigan, was a five-star recruit and was ranked No. 55 in the class of 2021 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net. She won four singles and 10 doubles tournaments on the USTA national level. She competed at No. 1 singles for two years at Royal Oak High School and was a two-time all-state honoree, two-time Scholar-Athlete of the Year,
• Iowa has an overall 22-2 record against the Golden Eagles.
• Nine letterwinners return from last year’s team, including the entire dual lineup.
• Marquette competed in six fall invitationals including the Redbird Invite, Milwaukee Tennis Classic, ITA Midwest Regional, Hoosier Classic, Northwestern Invitational, and the Bronco Super Challenge.
• The Golden Eagles ended their 2021 season 6-8 overall.
• Iowa is 32-6 all-time against the Bulldogs.
• Drake is the reigning Missouri Valley Conference champion.
• Made NCAA team appearance last season
• Drake competed in five fall invitationals including the Drake Invite, Gopher Invitational, MVC Individual Championships, ITA Central Regionals, and the Bulldog Classic.
• The Bulldogs have six returnees and four newcomers.
• The Bulldogs ended their 2021 season 11-9 overall.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Fans can follow the Iowa women’s tennis team on Facebook and via twitter @Iowa_Tennis. Results from this weekend will be available on the Iowa women’s tennis schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.