The University of Iowa women’s tennis team travels to Athens, Georgia, for the 13th annual ITA Kickoff Weekend on Friday and Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Hawkeyes face Mississippi State on Friday at 9 a.m. (CT), and either third-ranked Georgia or North Florida on Saturday (time TBD).
The Hawkeyes are coming into their third week with two wins under their belt. Iowa defeated Marquette, 6-1, followed by a, 6-1, win over Drake on Sunday, Jan. 16. The Hawkeyes won all six doubles matches and won 10 singles matches. Four players, senior Michelle Bacalla, sophomore Vipasha Mehra, and freshman Marisa Schmidt and Barbora Pokorna all went 2-0 in singles and in doubles.
SCHMIDT 4-0 COLLEGIATE DEBUT
Freshman Marisa Schmidt made her collegiate tennis debut going went 4-0 overall at the No. 1 and No. 2 spot in both singles and doubles. The Germany native bounced Marquette’s Andie Wiese, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 2 spot as well as Drake’s Ines Stephani, 3-6, 6-4, 10-6, at the No. 1 spot. Schmidt and her partner, Samantha Mannix went undefeated on the weekend defeating Marquette’s Desmarais/Kaiser, 6-4, at the No 2 spot, and Drake’s Petushkova/Neville, 7-5, at the No. 1 spot.
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,
MISSISSIPPI STATE BREAKDOWN
• This is the first matchup between the Hawkeyes and the Bulldogs.
• Mississippi State is 3-0 with wins over Louisianna, Jacksonville State, and Memphis.
• Two players are ranked in the latest ITA Singles National rankings – Senior Emmanouela Antonaki is ranked No. 50 and Magda Adaloglou is ranked No. 67.
• Magda Adaloglou and Chloe Cirotte are ranked No. 20 in the latest ITA National Doubles Rankings.
• Iowa is 0-1 overall against the Bulldogs.
NORTH FLORIDA BREAKDOWN
• The Hawkeyes have never faced the Ospreys.
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