State of the Cyclones: Can Iowa State women’s tennis improve from Big 12 skid?


Welcome, fellow Cyclones, to our latest entry in our summer series — the only series where we are reviewing all of the university’s men’s and women’s athletic teams. This week we will be looking at Iowa State women’s tennis.

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It was a rough year for the women as they went 9-14 on the year with a 1-8 mark in conference play.  That poor conference record came from an 0-7 stretch that involved road trips to Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.  The lone win came after that against West Virginia, before a final loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, in April.  Interestingly enough, there was no match against our Hawkeye neighbors.

Despite the poor showing in 2013-2014, there is mild hope that the team can improve.  Of the nine players on roster, five will be sophomores in 2014-15 and three will be seniors, with one senior graduating.  I have no clue what recruiting is like for college tennis, but with almost an entire roster coming back intact, there should be hope that experience produces improvement this coming year.

One thing to keep in mind is that players hail from around the world including Belgium, Norway, Germany, Croatia, and England in addition to several domestic players.  Additionally, head coach Armando Espinosa comes from Mexico City, Mexico, and has led the team since 2008-2009.  His continuity translates to leading four different Cyclones in terms of career wins during his tenure.

Several individual performances stand out from the otherwise mediocre season.  Outgoing senior Emma Waites managed to win the early-season UNI Invitational tournament. Ksenia Pronina from Dusseldorf, Germany, played most of the season as the top singles player on the team and won the top flight at the Drake Invitational in September.

I hope you all have enjoyed this look at the women’s tennis team.  It has been rough recently, but things are potentially looking bright with an established coach and recruits from around the world.

Check back in with Clones Confidential through the summer for more State of the Cyclones.