Final Road Trip

April 17, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team, (6-11 overall, 1-7 in the Big Ten) will be on the road to face Purdue Saturday and Illinois Sunday. Both meets begin at noon.

SCOUTING PURDUE — The Purdue Boilermakers are 7-13 overall and 2-6 in the Big Ten. They are led by Scott Warner in the No. 1 singles spot. Colin Foster, playing No. 2 singles, is 6-13. Foster teams with Kurt Zaske to play No. 1 doubles. The team is 5-8. Purdue is coached by Tim Madden.

SCOUTING ILLINOIS — Illinois, 18-5 overall and 7-1 in conference play. They are second in the Big Ten. The top four singles players are nationally ranked. Ryler DeHeart (3) plays in the No. 1 spot. GD Jones (64) plays in the No. 2 spot, Kevin Anderson (20) No. 3 and Ryan Rowe (60) No. 4. The Illini are coached by Brad Dancer.

THE SERIES — Iowa holds a 32-26 lead in the series against Purdue. The Hawkeyes trail 21-49 in the all-time series with Illinois. Last year, Iowa defeated Purdue (4-3), but lost to Illinois (7-0).

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes were defeated by No. 64 Indiana (7-0), but rebounded with an upset win against No. 54 Penn State (5-2) last week. The doubles team of sophomores Bart van Monsjou and J.P. Ritchie were undefeated on the weekend. Four Hawkeyes went 1-1 in singles play. Iowa’s No. 4 singles player, senior Chaitu Malempati (3-12), did not compete against Indiana because of a stress fracture. He returned to play against Penn State, but was defeated. Sophomore J.P. Ritchie (8-9) continues to lead the Hawkeyes in singles.

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 276-281 (.496). 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 — “Our team really got a boost off the win against Penn State. Hopefully, we can carry that into this weekend as we face Purdue and Illinois. They are two good teams, but we are looking to finish our regular season strong.”