March 13, 2006
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Louisiana this week for its spring trip. The Hawkeyes will be in Thibodaux Tuesday to face Nicholls State. Iowa will then travel to Hammond to play Southeastern Louisiana on Friday. They finish play Saturday in Lafayette against Louisiana-Lafayette.
SCOUTING NICHOLLS STATE — The Colonels are 3-8 in the spring season. Most recently, they lost to 69th-ranked Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Senior Sebastien Normand (5-2) is a staple at the No. 1 position. In the No. 2 spot is freshman Vlad-Lucian Popa (4-3). Nicholls State is coached by Dominic Modise.
SCOUTING SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA — The Lions bring an impressive 6-1 record to this weekend’s competition. Their only loss was against South Alabama. They are led by Haris Huremovic (4-3) playing in the No. 1 spot. Ilie Babincuic plays the No. 3 position and is undefeated (5-0). Southeast Louisiana is coached by Jason Hayes.
SCOUTING LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE — The Ragin’ Cajuns are ranked 41st in the latest ITA rankings. They are 6-2, compiling a 1-2 record against nationally ranked opponents. Robin Ley leads the team in victories (7-1). Evghenii Corduneanu and Amanjot Singh form the Ragin’ Cajuns’ No. 1 doubles team. They are 5-2 on the season. Louisiana-Lafayette is coached by Justin McGrath.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes lost to Drake and Minnesota, 5-2 and 4-3, respectively. Sophomore Bart van Monsjou, Iowa’s No. 1 singles player, was defeated twice. The Hawkeyes’ No. 1 doubles team, of Brett Taylor and J.P. Ritchie, went 1-1.
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 274-273 (.501). 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 are going to have our work cut out for us on this trip. The three teams we play are all very good, especially Louisiana-Lafayette. It will also be a challenge to make the transition from playing indoors to playing outdoors.”