Hawkeyes fly away with 6-1 win

The women's tennis team took its game on the road once again this weekend, traveling to Iowa City to face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Golden Eagles fell to the Hawkeyes, 6-1, bringing their record to 3-3.

Iowa had control of the match off the bat, winning the doubles point by taking the No. 1 and No. 2 matches, but defaulted in No. 3 doubles, giving sophomore Kristin Minkowski and freshman Dominika Dabrowski a win.

In first doubles seniors Veronica Garcia Briseno and Genevieve Charron fell to Hawkeyes Meg Racette and Hillary Mintz, 8-3. Second doubles had a similar result with senior Annabelle Espinosa and freshman Francina Bonnelly losing, 8-2, to Deni Alexandrova and Anastasia Zhukova.

The Hawkeyes were able to keep their momentum up through singles play, sweeping all but one match, which they lost by default due to a player injury. In first singles Garcia Briseno again met Racette, but once again was unable to fend her off, losing 6-2, 6-4.

"Vero was coming back, but just was not able to do it," head coach Jody Bronson said.

In second singles Iowa dominated the match, only allowing Charron to score one point in each set. Mintz took the match for Iowa, winning 6-1, 6-1.

After losing her first set in third singles, 6-1, Dabrowski fought back in the second but was unable to produce a win, falling 6-4.

Bronson thought the Golden Eagles could have won the matches down low, but they were unable to follow through with it. Espinosa and Bonnelly came the closest.

"There were possibilities but we didn't follow through," Bronson said.

Espinosa put up a good fight, playing in the number four spot. However, it was not enough to keep Alexandrova at bay. The No. 4 Hawkeye took the match 6-4, 6-4.

Alexandrova "was the best I've played this spring," Espinosa said.

Espinosa felt it was her best match back this spring, since having surgery on her wrist in November.

"I am able to hit my backhand now, before I couldn't hit a two-handed backhand," Espinosa said.

Espinosa's doubles partner, Bonnelly, had similar results in the No. 5 spot. In the end Jennifer Hodgman of Iowa defeated Bonnelly 6-3, 6-2.

Marquette's only win in singles, which also scored the team's only point, was in No. 6 singles. The match went to freshman Andrea Bukacek, who won by default over Hilary Tyler.

The team arrived in Iowa on Friday in order to get used to the paying surface. Playing on a different surface presented a challenge for the squad.

"It was a very fast laid down surface — that gave us some problems," Bronson said.

Espinosa confirmed that playing on the surface was no easy task.

"It was so hard," she said. "It was so fast; the courts were like rubber. I had no time to prepare for my strength shot, which is my forehand."

Iowa played with only five players because Tyler was injured and another player was required to sit out for two matches.

"They played very good for only having five players," Bronson said. "They are one of the best teams we've played. They forced us to do things. Some teams play into your strengths and some play into your weakness."

The Golden Eagles will now take a break from competition, not competing again until Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. when they will take on the Wisconsin Badgers at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium.