March 20, 2006
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team (5-5, 0-1) will return home and face Ohio State on Friday. Competition will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the new West Tennis and Recreation Center, weather permitting. If inclement weather occurs, the meet will be held at the UI Recreational Building.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE — The Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked 10th in the most recent ITA poll. They are 11-1 on the spring season, with their only loss coming from Notre Dame. The No. 1 doubles team of Ross Wilson and Scott Green are ranked second in the country. The Buckeyes also have three ranked singles players. This will be the team’s first Big Ten meet of the season. Ohio State is coached by Ty Tucker.
THE SERIES — Iowa leads the series, 24-22. Last year, Ohio State defeated the Hawkeyes, 7-0, in Columbus.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes defeated Nicholls State and lost to Louisiana-Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana during their spring trip last week. Iowa’s No. 2 doubles team of senior Chaitu Malempati and sophomore Bart van Monsjou went 2-1. Sophomore J.P. Ritchie went 2-1 in No. 3 singles competition. The Hawkeyes are currently 11th in the Big Ten.
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 275-275 (.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 — “I believe that we made improvements over spring break. Ohio State is obviously very good. We’ll be playing certainly one of the top two teams in the Big Ten. It will be a real challenge for us, but we have played well against them in the past.”