April 3, 2006
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team, (5-8, 0-4) will be on the road to face Wisconsin Saturday and Northwestern Sunday. Both matches will begin at noon.
SCOUTING WISCONSIN — The Badgers are 8-7 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten competition. They are led by #113 Jeremy Sonkin in the No. 1 singles spot (11-4). Nathan Polley plays in the No. 2 spot and is 8-4. Polley and Sonkin team to play No. 1 doubles and are 6-2 on the season. Wisconsin is coached by Greg Van Emburgh.
SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN— The 59th-ranked Wildcats are 9-7 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten competition. Christian Tempke, ranked #51, is 8-7 playing the No. 1 spot. The No. 2 singles spot is played by Willy Lock (11-4). Northwestern’s No. 1 doubles team is Matt Christian and Adam Schaechterle (6-8). Adam is the twin brother of Hawkeye senior Aaron Schaechterle. The Wildcats are coached by Paul Torricelli.
THE SERIES — Iowa is behind in the overall series with Wisconsin, 30-56-2. The Hawkeyes defeated Wisconsin last year (4-3) in Iowa City. Iowa is also behind in the series against Northwestern, 23-52. The Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern last year (5-2) in Iowa City
LAST TIME OUT— The Hawkeyes were defeated by Michigan State (5-2) and 29th-ranked Michigan (7-0) on the road. Sophomore Christian Bierich and senior Brett Taylor went 1-1 in singles for the weekend. All other Hawkeyes were winless. Iowa’s doubles teams struggled in competition also. Bierich teamed with senior Aaron Schaechterle against Michigan State to get the lone doubles win for 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 275-278 (.497). 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 — “The match against Michigan State was a missed opportunity and Michigan was just too good. We are going to face two more solid Big Ten teams this weekend. We have to improve and get over the hump.”