The Iowa women’s tennis team (2-0) handed Illinois-Chicago (2-3) its third loss of the season on Friday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center, 6-1.
The Hawkeyes started by sweeping all three doubles matches from the Flames.
The No. 1 pairing of senior Sonja Molnar and freshman Shelby Talcott commanded its match from the beginning and won, 8-1.
The other matches didn’t start out as well for Iowa; both the No. 2 and 3 pairings were down early, and it looked as if the Flames might be too much to handle. But both pairs rallied to win their matches — the 2’s won 8-6, and the 3’s won 8-4.
The No. 3 pairing was the most exciting match of the doubles portion. Katie Zordani and Ellen Silver were down 2-4, but battled back and took the next six sets to win the match.
Iowa used the same singles lineup as it did in its win over Illinois State on Feb. 4.
The Flames scratched their No. 1, Mariya Kovaleva, and everyone on their roster moved up a spot.
Molnar faced Illinois-Chicago’s Teona Tsertsvadze in the No. 1 slot. Molnar was faced her first deficit of the year early in the match, but battled back to win, (6-4, 6-1).
Talcott won her match in straight sets, (6-1, 7-5).
All other Iowa players followed suit as they handled their opponents and showed off their depth.
The Hawkeyes played four freshman, one sophomore and one senior, while the Flames countered with a veteran lineup that consisted of mostly upperclassmen.
Iowa will host Iowa State on Sunday at noon.
— by Patrick Mason