April 19, 2004
This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will close out the regular season this weekend with two home duals. The Hawkeyes will face 19th-ranked Ohio State Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 63rd-ranked Penn State Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Both matches are scheduled to take place at the Klotz Tennis Courts. In the event of inclement weather, the matches will be moved indoors to the Recreation Building. Admission is free.
Hawkeyes to Bid Farewell to Klotz Courts: Iowa’s match vs. Penn State will be the final collegiate dual played on Klotz Courts. The renovation of Kinnick Stadium will force the closure of Klotz Courts. A new tennis facility is planned for next spring.
Jasicek to Compete in Final Home Dual: Sunday’s match will also mark the final home dual for senior Matis Jasicek. After battling through injuries most of his career, Jasicek has stepped into the lineup as a solid contributor in both singles and doubles.
The Buckeyes: Ohio State is 19-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play with its only Big Ten loss coming against top-ranked Illinois. Last weekend the Buckeyes posted wins over Northwestern and Wisconsin. Senior Jeremy Wutzman is the top-ranked singles player in the country with a 19-2 dual record. Freshmen Joey Atas and Chris Klingmann round out the top half of Ohio State’s singles lineup. Wurtzman and Atas, ranked 56th nationally, are the Buckeyes’ top doubles team. Ohio State is coached by Ty Tucker.
Iowa-Ohio State Series: Iowa leads the series, 24-20. Last year the Hawkeyes were swept by the Buckeyes in Columbus.
The Nittany Lions: Penn State is 9-7 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten play after a win over Wisconsin and a loss to Northwestern. The Nittany Lions are led in singles competition by sophomore Malcolm Scatliffe, senior Roddy Cantey and junior Clint Keithley. Cantey and Scatliffe are also Penn State’s top doubles team. The Nittany Lions are coached by Jan Bortner.
Iowa-Penn State Series: Iowa holds a 9-5 advantage over Penn State. Last year the Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions (5-2) in State College. Iowa then lost to Penn State (4-0) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Hawkeyes Fall to Indiana: Iowa faced a tough road opponent in a 7-0 loss at Indiana. The Hawkeyes were unable to win a doubles contest and were swept in singles competition.
Doubles Woes Continue: Iowa has claimed the doubles point in only three of its 17 matches this season. Two of those points contributed to dual wins.
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 261-257 (.504). 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: “Ohio State is not only one of the top teams in the conference, but also the nation. Penn State is probably the most improved team in our conference so it will be a challenging weekend. Our guys have to step it up and play their best tennis.”