Hawkeyes Prepare For ITA Regionals

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Oct. 17, 2005

THIS WEEK — The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Ann Arbor, MI, to compete in the ITA Midwest Championships. Matches will be played Thursday through Tuesday at the Varsity Tennis Center on the University of Michigan campus.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The Midwest Championship is one of 17 ITA Regional Championships taking place across the country this month. Singles finalists and doubles champions from each of the 17 regionals will earn a spot in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November. More than 30 squads will be competing at the Midwest Regional., including all of the Big Ten teams, except Penn State.

HAWKEYES COMPETING — Senior Chaitu Malempati will return from injury and see his first action of the fall this weekend in qualifying singles play. Freshman Christian Bierich and senior Brett Taylor will also play in qualifying singles. Sophomore Bart van Monsjou will be competing in the main singles draw. Iowa will have two teams in doubles competition: van Monsjou with Taylor, and Bierich with Malempati.

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes were at the Wisconsin Invitational October 8 – 10. In singles play, Bierich and van Monsjou led the Hawkeyes with records of 4-1 and 3-1, respectively. The doubles teams of senior Aaron Schaechterle and van Monsjou and freshman Greg Holm and Bierich had 3-1 records. The Iowa squad compiled a 14-15 record in singles play and a 7-5 record in doubles at the invitational.

HEAD COACH Steve Houghton — Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 25th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 270-270 (.500). His best season came in 1984 when Iowa won a school record 21 matches and two Hawkeyes earned all-Big Ten honors. Four of Houghton’s athletes have also been selected Big Ten Sportsman of the Year. He became the winningest coach in Iowa tennis history in 1992 and is a member of the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame. While playing at Iowa, Houghton had a career winning percentage of .727 (40-15), the second best in Iowa History.

QUOTING COACH HOUGHTON — “We will be playing against nationally ranked players and some of the best competition in the country. We’ve had success at this tournament over the years, but it is very difficult to win.”