Learning from a loss is the most important step a team can take when trying to move forward, and that’s exactly what the Iowa women’s tennis team will try to do this weekend against Northern Iowa (6-2).
The Hawkeyes suffered their first two losses of the season on a trip to Oklahoma, but it was a taste of the talented teams that still lurk on their schedule. Thirteen of the Hawkeyes’ 17 remaining opponents are nationally ranked, and four of them reside in the top 25.
Iowa (3-2) was off to its best start under head coach Katie Dougherty’s three-year tenure before last weekend, and the Hawkeyes seemed to handle their two losses well. They focused on doubles in this week’s practices, especially stressing the importance of being aggressive.
“This week we’ve really been working hard and hitting a lot of balls,” freshman Shelby Talcott said. “We recognize what we have to do to win those tough matches.”
Dougherty said the upcoming meet against Northern Iowa is a chance to bounce back from a pair of difficult losses in meets where she said her athletes performed well.
“We played some really good teams this past weekend, and coming off that, we will definitely be ready to go on Saturday,” she said.
Dougherty said her Hawkeyes grew more on that trip than any other part of the young season, and that idea was echoed by some of her players.
“I feel we all saw how hard we fight,” Talcott said. “The teamwork we have really helps us to work hard both during matches and in practice.”
The team will have to bring that fight on Saturday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center against Northern Iowa, which is riding a three-meet winning streak.
— by Patrick Mason