June 2013

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"She is playing indoors, which is great for her game with the big serve," said Dougherty. "Her game has a ton of room to improve, which is unbelievable at this stage in the game that she can get that much better in singles and doubles." Following the graduation of Sonja Molnar, one of the best players in UI history, Seaborne stepped into the top of the lineup in both singles and doubles. She finished 13-8 in singles and 16-7 in doubles en route to being named a first-team All-Big Ten selection. She climbed as high as 34th in the ITA doubles rankings and 75th in singles. "We knew coming in that Ruth was something special," said Dougherty. "Being All-Big Ten, leading our team, and being ranked in singles and doubles, it's more than we could ask for." Seaborne's first Hawkeye campaign was one with peaks and valleys. She won five-straight singles matches to open the spring, before losing three, winning four, losing three, winning one, losing two and finishing with a three-match winning streak. Among the victories was a straight-set triumph over Ohio State's Kelsey Dieters that helped propel the Hawkeyes to a 4-2 victory over the Buckeyes in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa then put a scare in top-seeded Michigan in the semifinals before falling 4-3. "We had some good (team) wins and some disappointing losses," said Seaborne, who led Iowa to a 10-13 overall record. "We lost to Ohio State in the regular season, 6-1, and we knew in the Big Tens we had to step up our game. We had done it at times during the season, but it wasn't a consistent thing. "Next year, we're going to have to say this is how we have to be day-in-and-day-out. If we can do that, we're going to be very successful." 38 Individually, Dougherty says Seaborne needs to work on her consistency to take the next step as a player. "The big thing for Ruth next season is week-in and week-out being able to compete the way she can," said Dougherty. "She had a couple of valleys, which is probably why she isn't in the (NCAA) singles tournament (this season). If we clean that up, there isn't any reason why she isn't top 25. "Ruth and Movren (McCulloch) in doubles had a top-10 win this year and a couple of near misses, and they're in the NCAAs as well. We can't hit any of those valleys like we did this year, and the sky is the limit." After playing in the All-American Tournament and winning a qualifying match during her junior season, Seaborne has a goal to advance in the main draw in 2013. But her focus is the NCAAs. "Next year, for the team and me, making the NCAAs is a big goal of ours," she said. This summer, Seaborne will compete in a pair of lowerlevel futures tournaments in Hilton Head, S.C., and Buffalo, N.Y., while spending the summer training in Iowa City. Through it all, Seaborne's experience at Junior Wimbledon stays with her because one day, she has aspirations of returning home to compete on the grand stage. "I would love to experience that moment again and again," said Seaborne. "That moment was phenomenal. Playing in front of the home crowd... I have never had that feeling or experience before of everyone wanting you to win and random people yelling 'come on Ruth.' It was pretty awesome."

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