THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will open the spring season by hosting Northern Illinois Sunday. The match will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS — The Northern Illinois Huskies are set to begin their spring season Saturday against Wisconsin. That will be the team’s first match since the ITA Midwest Regional. In that tournament, sophomore Brian Livingston was the last Huskie standing as he advanced as far as the round of 32. Northern Illinois is coached by Pontus Hiort.
THE SERIES — Iowa leads the series 27-5. The Hawkeyes beat the Huskies last season in Iowa City, 6-1.
IOWA IN THE RANKINGS — The Hawkeyes’ doubles team of freshman Reinoud Haal and senior Scott Elwell are tied for the 44th ranking in the latest College Tennis Online poll. The duo had an undefeated record of 7-0 in the fall season.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes closed their fall season at the Big Ten Singles Championships, November 10-13. Four Hawkeyes competed in the qualifying draw with freshman Patrick Dwyer advancing to the main draw. In the first round of main draw competition, Dwyer, junior J.P. Ritchie, sophomores Christian Bierich and Greg Holm, and freshman Tommy McGeorge were defeated. Junior Bart van Monsjou captured Iowa’s only win, but was knocked out of the tournament in the second round.
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 — “We are excited to play our first match in the new facility. There will be a blend of experienced players and freshmen in our line-up. We hope to have a good showing this weekend and start the season off well.”