Iowa City, Iowa – The Nebraska women’s tennis team closed out it’s 2017 regular season this weekend in Iowa City with a tight 4-3 loss to the Hawkeyes. The Huskers now sit at 18-7 (5-6 Big Ten) as they enter the Big Ten tournament.
In one of the closest matches to date for the Big Red, doubles action started out strong with wins coming in at the No.2 and No.3 positions.
First to lay down a win for Nebraska was doubles duo Claire Reifeis and Hayley Haakenstad. Playing a position up from their regular spot at No.3, the freshman pair claimed a 6-4 final score against Iowa’s Zoe Douglas and Kristen Thoms.
With the doubles match at No.1 dropped to the Hawkeyes, it Vasanti Shinde and M’Balia Bangoura to clinch for NU at No.3. Shinde and Bangoura pushed through an extended set to emerge victorious 7-5 over Montana Crawford and Aimee Tarun. The Huskers now led the match 1-0.
Singles action kicked off early afternoon tennis action, where the Big Red needed three more points to win the dual. Up to the challenge, Haakenstad picked up straight sets at the No.6 singles position. The native of Chanhassen, Minn. battled to 6-1, 6-1 over Tarun with the Hawkeyes. This advanced the Huskers to 2-0.
The Iowa Hawkeyes proceeded to pick up wins at No.1 and No.4 positions, tying the dual at 2-2.
Pushing Nebraska into the lead again was a win by Paula Del Cueto Castillo. Del Cueto Castillo cruised to a well-fought 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Crawford at the No.3 singles position. This marked the 11th singles win of the season for the sophomore and set the Huskers at 3-2 heading into the final singles match.
After dropping the first set at No.2 singles, Reifies pushed back to take the second of three sets against Douglas in a swift 6-0. Pushing even harder into the third set, the Indianapolis, Ind. native fell to her Hawkeye opponent in a well-fought 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 final score.
Up to clinch the match for the Huskers was Bangoura, slotted at the No.5 singles position against Thoms of Iowa. Also pushing to three tough sets, the first two extended, Bangoura put up 12 points against the Hawkeye, before Thoms took the final set in a straight 6-0. The final score 6-7, 7-5, 6-0. Bangoura finished regular season with an even 3-3 record on singles.
The Nebraska women’s tennis team will enter the seeding process for the Big Ten tournament with a total 18 wins on the season and a 5-6 record in the Big Ten. With more than 125 combined singles and doubles wins on the season, the Huskers look to place amongst the top ten.
Fans can stay up to date by watching for match recaps on Huskers.com or by following the team at @HuskersWTennis on Twitter.
No.1 – Elise Van Heuvelen/Adorabol Huckleby (IOWA) def. Mary Hanna/Paula Del Cueto Castillo (NEB), 6-3
No.2 – Claire Reifeis/Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Zoe Douglas/Kristen Thoms (IOWA), 6-4
No.3 – Vasanti Shinde/M’Balia Bangoura (NEB) def. Montana Crawford/Aimee Tarun (IOWA), 7-5
No.1 – Elise Van Heuvelen (IOWA) def. Vasanti Shinde (NEB), 6-1, 6-2
No.2 – Zoe Douglas (IOWA) def. Claire Reifeis (NEB), 6-2, 0-6, 7-6
No.3 – Paula Del Cueto Castillo (NEB) def. Montana Crawford (IOWA), 6-4, 6-3
No.4 – Adorabol Huckleby (IOWA) def. Mary Hanna (NEB), 6-4, 6-4
No.5 – Kristen Thoms (IOWA) def. M’Balia Bangoura (NEB), 6-7, 7-5, 6-0
No.6 – Hayley Haakenstad (NEB) def. Aimee Tarun (IOWA), 6-1, 6-1