Nov. 6, 2006
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Ann Arbor, MI, this week to compete in the Big Ten Singles Championship.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The University of Michigan will host the tournament. Play begins Friday with qualifying matches. For the Hawkeyes, senior Scott Elwell and freshmen Reinoud Haal, Patrick Dwyer and Walker Grimes will compete in the qualifying draw. Main draw competition will be held Saturday through Monday. Sophomores Christian Bierich and Greg Holm, juniors Bart van Monsjou and J.P. Ritchie, and freshman Tommy McGeorge will represent the Hawkeyes in the main draw.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes competed in singles and doubles at the ITA Midwest Championships hosted by the University of Minnesota. Junior J.P. Ritchie, freshman Tommy McGeorge and senior Scott Elwell won qualifying matches on the first day of competition, but lost in the round of 32. In doubles competition, the Hawkeyes won two matches.
COMPETITION FROM THE BIG TEN — Iowa has played 14 singles matches against Big Ten opponents so far in the 2006 fall season, with freshman Tommy McGeorge’s win over Sion Wilkins of Minnesota being the only win. Seventeen Big Ten singles players were ranked in the pre-season ITA rankings.
HEAD COACH Steve Houghton — Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 26th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 277-286 (.492). 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 was a little disappointed with our performance at the ITA regionals and so were the players. The team is fired up for this last event of the fall season. After a couple weeks of good practices, they are ready to finish the season right.”