Hawkeyes to Face Western Michigan

Feb. 2, 2004

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This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Kalamazoo, MI, Sunday to face Western Michigan. Competition is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (CT) at the West Hills Athletics Club.

The Broncos: Western Michigan, ranked 67th nationally, is 2-1 and undefeated at home after wins over Butler and DePaul over the weekend. The Broncos only loss was at Michigan. Senior Ravi Pathanjali, sophomore Jose Orozco and junior Tom Dennis lead Western Michigan in singles competition. Pathanjali and sophomore Jeff French are the Broncos’ top doubles team. Western Michigan is coached by Dave Morin. The Broncos will host Purdue Saturday.

Iowa-Western Michigan Series: The Hawkeyes hold a 12-8 series advantage over the Broncos. Last year Iowa was edged by Western Michigan (4-3) in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes claimed the doubles point, but were able to win only two of four singles contests.

Hawkeyes Defeated by Minnesota: Iowa faced tough competition in a 5-2 loss to 30th-ranked Minnesota last week. The Hawkeyes fell behind 1-0 after claiming only one of three doubles contests. Iowa kept things close in singles competition, but were only able to win just two of six singles contests.

Hoak and Reid Claim Victories: Freshmen Jonny Hoak and Ryan Reid turned in solid performances for Iowa against Minnesota. The duo claimed Iowa’s win in doubles competition over Chris Wettengel and Andres Osorio. Hoak recorded his first collegiate singles victory in dual competition with a straight-set win over Osorio in the No. 3 match, giving Iowa its first point of the afternoon. Reid also claimed his first dual victory with a three-set decision over Sion Wilkins in the No. 6 match for the Hawkeyes’ second point.

Young No. 1: Sophomore Chaitu Malempati has played at the No. 1 singles position in both of Iowa’s duals this season. At 19, he is the youngest Hawkeye to play in Iowa’s top position since Tyler Cleveland competed at No. 1 as a 19-year-old freshman in 1998.

Freshmen Stepping Up: All three of Iowa’s singles victories and both doubles wins this season have come from freshmen. Walter Valarezo (No. 4), Jonny Hoak (No. 3) and Ryan Reid (No. 6) have each recorded a singles win. Valarezo and Sebastian Delgado (No. 1) and Reid and Hoak (No. 3) have each won a doubles match.

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 258-245 (.513). 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 15 players to 29 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: “Western Michigan is an excellent team. This will be a challenging match, especially considering its our first road contest. I feel like we’ve improved over the past two weeks and hopefully we will continue to make progress. “