The Iowa State Cyclones will start their three-week home stretch against the Drake Bulldogs on Thursday, March 29, at 5 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Cyclones are coming off a 4-1 loss to West Virginia and have not won a match since March 3 which was against the Mercer Bears. This week's match between the Cyclones and Bulldogs will be an important one, especially for the Cyclones since it is the beginning of their three-week home stay.
Head coach of the women’s tennis team, Armando Espinosa, is looking forward to staying close to home for the next three weeks and is also looking forward to getting a win for the Cyclones and their fans.
“Even though we could not get a win last weekend I saw a lot of improvement from the girls especially from Ekaterina Repina," Espinosa said. "I’m glad to see she could come come out and play on a high level like that.”
After last week's loss against West Virginia, the Cyclones are looking to come back, improve and get a victory for their fans this weekend.
“We could not capitalize during match, West Virginia wanted it more than we did,” Espinosa said.
The Cyclones are looking to break this six-game losing streak this week that has begun since the beginning of March.
“Every year it gets harder to get a win in the Big 12, there is so much competition with big schools," Espinosa said. "We have had opportunities to defeat teams but we can not capitalize on our momentum. We can not be afraid to lose points, we can’t keep falling down the rabbit hole.”
This week during practices the Cyclones have been working more on their fundamentals such as serving, returning, and have been competing more in practice such as going against themselves in singles and doubles.
“This week I went back and looked at film and we have to finish our matches stronger,” Espinosa said.
The Iowa State Cyclones have always played the Drake Bulldogs relatively well, capturing 25 wins. Due to injuries on the Bulldogs, the Cyclones might get the best of them this year as well. Drake's No. 5 and No. 6 singles are out due to injury, so the No. 7 and No. 8 spot will have to fill the gap this weekend.
“The Bulldogs are very tough team to play, they always play very hard,” Espinosa said. "They have been plagued with injuries this year so some new faces will have to step up, we have to be ready because this match could go either way.”