Hawkeyes Heading to Big Ten Tournament

April 24, 2006

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THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team, (6-13 overall, 1-9 in the Big Ten) will be in Minneapolis, MN, this week competing in the Big Ten Tournament. All matches will be held at the Baseline Tennis Center. Admission to the event is free.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — This year, Iowa is the 11th seed and will face 57th-ranked Penn State in the opening round of competition at noon Thursday. If the Hawkeyes win, they will play third-seeded Minnesota Friday. In last year’s tournament, Iowa, the ninth-seed, was defeated by eighth-seeded Michigan State (4-0). Illinois won the 2005 tournament.

SCOUTING PENN STATE — Penn State, 15-5 overall and 5-5 in the Big Ten, finished sixth in the regular season. They ended the season with wins over Michigan State (6-1) and No. 39 Michigan (5-2). In the No. 1 singles position, 88th-ranked Mark Barry is 13-4 in dual competition. Barry teams with Adam Slagter to form the No. 1 doubles team.

THE SERIES — The Hawkeyes defeated Penn State (5-2) on April 16 in Iowa City. Iowa leads the series 10-7.

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes were defeated by Purdue (4-3) and Illinois (7-0) last weekend in the final matches of the regular season. Sophomore Bart van Monsjou and freshman Christian Bierich had wins over Purdue in singles. Seniors Brett Taylor and Kyle Markham teamed to defeat Purdue in No. 2 doubles. In No. 3 doubles, Bierich and senior Aaron Schaechterle were victorious.

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 — “We defeated Penn State before and should enter this match with confidence, although it’s likely to be tougher this time around.”