Nov. 10, 2003
This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Ann Arbor, MI, to compete at the Big Ten singles tournament Saturday thru Monday at the Varsity Tennis Courts.
The Competition: The tournament field features the top singles players in the Big Ten. The tournament format will be conducted in a main draw field of 64 and a 7-8 bracket (No. 7 and No. 8 position players). Those eliminated from the first round of the main draw and 7-8 brackets will compete in a consolation bracket. Competing for Iowa in the main draw are sophomores Parker Ross, Chaitu Malempati and Aaron Schaechterle and freshmen Ryan Reid, Walter Valarezo and Jonny Hoak. Freshman Scott Elwell and senior Matis Jasicek will compete in the 7-8 bracket.
Past Success: The Hawkeyes have had previous success at the Big Ten singles tournament. Tyler Cleveland was crowned champion in 1999 after winning the event without losing a set.
Hawkeyes Face Midwest’s Top Competition at Regional: Iowa competed against fierce competition at the ITA Omni Orrington Midwest Regionals. Chaitu Malempati advanced to the second round of the singles qualifying round. Jonny Hoak and Walter Valarezo were both eliminated in the first round. Parker Ross began competition in the main draw where he was eliminated in the first round by eighth-seeded Ryler DeHeart of Illinois. Ross and Malempati and Hoak and Valarezo each advanced to the second round of doubles competition. Ryan Reid and Aaron Schaechterle were eliminated in the first round.
Ross Hopes to Continue Fall Success: Parker Ross is currently 4-5 in singles competition after a solid outing at the Wisconsin Invitational and competing in the main draw at the ITA Omni Orrington Regionals. Ross had success at last year’s Big Ten singles tournament in the 7-8 bracket. After losing in the second round, Ross won his next two matches to advance to the consolation final. The final match was not played. Ross finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.
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 Big Ten Player of the Year twice. Four of Houghton’s athletes have also been selected Big Ten Sportsman of the Year.
Quoting Houghton: “This will be a good way to finish the fall season. We have showed a lot of improvement in practice over the past two weeks so it will be interesting to see how we do this weekend.”