Sept. 21, 2004
This Week: The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Lincoln, NE, to compete in the Nebraska Invitational. Competition will begin Friday and conclude Sunday. The weekend tournament will feature six teams.
Tournament Information: The six-team format includes an excellent field of competition to kick off the season for the Hawkeyes, which include: Denver, Drake, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. There will be two rounds of singles and doubles competition on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, competition will conclude with two rounds of singles and one round of doubles. The field is highlighted by two Big Ten opponents. Minnesota finished last season ranked 38th nationally. The Golden Golphers compiled a record of 8-2 in dual matches during conference play, which placed them third. Drake had a perfect record (7-0) in the Missouri Valley Conference last season, as well as a 17-6 overall record during the spring season.
Season Preview: The University of Iowa men’s tennis squad looks to improve on last season where its youthful squad proved to be a little overmatched. The Hawkeyes ended the season 3-17 overall and 0-11 in the Big Ten. After transfering a year ago from Wheaton College, Aaron Schaechterie led the Hawkeyes in singles’ wins with nine last season and once again this season should be a key componet to a much improved Hawkeye squad. The Hawkeyes once again have a young but talented squad. Of the 12 guys on their roster seven are newcomers. However, with the youth the Hawkeyes also bring promise to the future of Iowa men’s tennis. With a combination of incoming freshmen and junior college transfers as well as a strong core of returning competitors, the Hawkeyes look to a be a much more formadable opponent this season.
Head Coach: Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 24th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 261-260 (.501). 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 are young and inexperienced coming into this weekend’s tournament but I think we have a lot talent here where we can do very well. We will be facing strong competition, which will be a good challenge for our players to open the season.”