Sept. 23, 2003
This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will begin fall competition Friday thru Sunday in Muncie, IN, at the Ball State Invitational. Hawkeyes scheduled to compete include senior Matis Jasicek, sophomores Chaitu Malempati, Parker Ross and Aaron Schaechterle and freshmen Sebastian Delgado, Walter Valarezo, Scott Elwell and Alexis Lebron.
The Competition: The tournament will feature 18 schools from the Midwest. The tournament format will include four singles and doubles flights with a consolation bracket.
Jasicek Returns to Action: This weekend will mark the first competition for Matis Jasicek in over a year. Jasicek withdrew in the first fall competition last year due to injury and missed the entire fall and spring seasons.
Ross Looking to Continue Fall Success: Sophomore Parker Ross is once again looking to have a solid fall season. Last year he led the Hawkeyes with a team-best .714 singles winning percentage and a 5-2 record.
Out with the Old, In with the New: With the loss of team MVP’s Stuart Waters, Hunter Skogman and Pete Rose, the 2003 fall squad will have a much different look. Looking to lead the squad will be sophomores Johan Bergenas, Chaitu Malempati and Parker Ross. Each saw significant playing time in the Iowa lineup last spring and will be looked to for leadership. Also expected to provide leadership are seniors Matis Jasicek and Tres Jones. Jones proved to be a steady force last season in Iowa doubles play. The Hawkeye roster features seven newcomers who will be expected to provide an immediate impact. Johnny Hoak (Des Moines, IA), Scott Elwell (Lawrence, KS), Alexis Lebron (Mayagues, Puerto Rico), Ryan Reid (Leawood, KS), Aaron Schaechterle (Oconomowoc, WI), Sebastian Delgado (Guayaquil, Equador) and Walter Valarezo (Guayaquil, Equador) will all compete for playing time.
2003 Spring Review: The Hawkeyes finished the season 7-11 overall and 3-7 in conference play. Iowa tied for sixth in the Big Ten and were seeded sixth at the Big Ten tournament, its highest seed since 1994. Iowa made an early exit in the first round of the conference tournament with a loss to Penn State. Stuart Waters received his second consecutive all-Big Ten honor. He was also selected as the Midwest Region IV John Van Nostrand nominee.
Head Coach: Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 23rd season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 258-243 (.515). He became the winningest coach in Iowa tennis history in 1992, and is a member of the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame. He has coached 10 players to 17 all-Big Ten selections including Tyler Cleveland, who became the first men’s player in Big Ten history to be named two-time Big Ten Player of the Year. Four of Houghton’s athletes have also been selected Big Ten Sportsman of the Year.
Quoting Houghton: “This is the first tournament of the season. We have a lot of newcomers on our team that will be experiencing their first collegiate competition. It will be good experience for our guys against some quality opponents.