Hawkeyes To Continue Big Ten Competition

March 27, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team, 5-6 overall (0-2 in the Big Ten), will travel to Michigan to face Michigan State Saturday and Michigan Sunday. Both matches will begin at 11 a.m. (CST).

SCOUTING MICHIGAN — The 30th-ranked Wolverines are 9-6 (3-0) this season. Last weekend they defeated Wisconsin, 6-1. Michigan is led by #47 Matko Maravic, 7-7 at the No. 1 singles spot. Brian Hung plays the No. 2 spot and is 8-6 on the season. In doubles, Marvic and Hung pair to form the No. 1 team. They are ranked eighth in the nation. The Wolverines are coached by Bruce Berque.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE — Michigan State is 6-11. Last weekend, they defeated Butler (4-3) and Cleveland State (7-0). Nick Rinks is ranked #125 and plays No. 1 for the Spartans. The No. 2 spot is played by Adam Monich. In doubles, Monich teams with Rinks to play in the No. 1 spot. They are 10-6 and ranked #41. Michigan State is coached by Gene Orlando.

THE SERIES — Michigan leads the series, 40-5, while Iowa leads the series with Michigan State, 29-22. Iowa lost to both teams last year.

LAST TIME OUT— The Hawkeyes were defeated by seventh-ranked Ohio State last week, (7-0). Iowa faced three ranked opponents, two in singles and one doubles team. There were four very close matches in the loss. Sophomore J.P. Ritchie is 7-4 in the No. 3 spot and leads the Hawkeyes in wins. In doubles, the No. 2 team of senior Chaitu Malempati and sophomore Bart van Monsjou, (7-3), lead the Hawkeyes.

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 275-276 (.499). 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 — “Michigan and Michigan State are two strong Big Ten teams. Hopefully, the matches against Minnesota and Ohio State showed our guys they can play against the best in the Big Ten.”