by Kevin Powell, Daily Vidette Staff Writer
Early opportunities and last chances will be present this weekend for the ISU women’s tennis team as it is set to travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, as Northern Iowa hosts the 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships this weekend.
A young team will be looking to make a splash while veterans are given one last opportunity to end their careers on a high note.
“We always set a goal every year to go to the Valley’s and win a title. It’s on everybody’s goal sheet,” ISU head coach Chris Hoover said.
Seniors Aniko Kiss and Phyllis Tigges will be the first to compete for the ‘Birds as they compete in flight one doubles bracket today against Anna Kirsehnbaum and Analese Snyder of Creighton.
“I think we have a great chance and we can win, especially Aniko and me,” Tigges said. “I think we are very good in doubles, I think we can do it.”
Kiss and Tigges have been near perfect as a duo this season having only lost one match.
In the flight two doubles bracket senior Hannah Esker and sophomore Heather Nisbet will face off against Klavdija Rebol and Earlynn Lauer of Drake.
Battling in the flight three doubles bracket are Gabby Phillips and Stefanie Youngberg when they square off against Anita Lee and Anastacia Simons of SIU.
“We always start with doubles, it’s not going to be easy. Everybody is going to make us play [very well]. It’s doable. We’ve been working on doubles and serves [in practice],” Kiss said.
Tigges added, “I am doing better and better and I have improved. I am happy with myself, and doing pretty well.”
Kiss will look to keep her seven match singles winning streak alive when she competes in the first round of the flight one singles bracket against Rebol.
“I think [this season] has gone pretty well. Seven matches so far, but the last one was real tough. From now on it’s going to be tough matches, so I have to work at it,” Kiss said.
The winner of Kiss’ first match will face either Melanie Delsart of SIU or Nina Pfahler of UNI.
But, Kiss does have one player in mind that she would like to face.
“Wichita State’s No. 1 player [Lutfiana Budiharto], she’s pretty good. I always lose close matches to her, but I think I can do it this year,” Kiss said.
The two players are positioned on opposite sides of the bracket and each of them would have to make it to the finals in order to meet.
Competing in the flight two singles for ISU is Tigges who will matchup against Adele Henke of Bradley. Esker is set to make her final MVC championship run when she faces Jessi Aguilera of Drake.
Youngberg will battle with Cassandra Dix of UNI in the first round of the flight four bracket.
ISU’s Phillips will face Anita Lee of SIU. Heather Nisbet will look to bring home her second title against Jess Raatz of Evansville.
“Aniko’s got a tough draw, and Hannah’s got a pretty solid draw, all in all we I think we can win…we can win at this event,” Hoover said.