Feb. 9, 2004
This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will begin a three-meet homestand Sunday when it hosts DePaul. Competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Recreation Building. Admission is free.
The Blue Demons: DePaul is 3-5 after wins over Southern Illinois and Wisconsin-Green Bay last weekend. The Blue Demons have faced three Big Ten opponents this season and are 0-3. DePaul also lost (6-1) at Western Michigan, Iowa’s last opponent. The Blue Demons are led in singles competition by juniors Mark Henderson and Robert Kotroczo and freshman George Wang. Henderson and junior Sam Davidson are DePaul’s top doubles team. The Blue Demons are coached by Mark Ardizzone. DePaul will host Arkansas Friday.
Iowa-DePaul Series: The Hawkeyes lead the series over DePaul 2-1. In their last meeting, the Blue Demons edged the Hawkeyes (4-3) in Iowa City in 2000. Iowa lost the doubles point and won three of six singles contests.
Hawkeyes Fall at Western Michigan: Iowa faced tough competition in a 7-0 loss to Western Michigan. The Hawkeyes lost all three doubles contests. Iowa’s closest match came at the No. 2 position where sophomores Chaitu Malempati and Aaron Schaechterle lost a 9-8 tiebreak. The Hawkeyes also lost all six singles contests. Iowa’s closest match came at the No. 6 position where freshman Scott Elwell recorded a 6-3 first set win before losing the remaining sets.
Welcome Back: Sophomore Parker Ross and freshman Ryan Reid are expected to return to the lineup this weekend. Ross is coming off a successful fall season. He was the only Hawkeye to begin competition at the ITA Omni Orrington Midwest Regionals in the main draw qualifying round. Ross competed in 14 of 18 duals last season. Sunday will be his first dual match of 2004. Reid has seen action in one meet and has been battling injuries.
Young No. 1: Sophomore Chaitu Malempati has played at the No. 1 singles position in all three 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 258-246 (.512). 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: “We have been struggling with inexperience and injuries this season. We hope to get both Parker Ross and Ryan Reid back in the lineup and that will give us a boost. We will be facing another tough opponent in DePaul. “