Hawkeyes Set To Open Big Ten Season

March 19, 2007

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THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team (7-3), ranked No. 75, will open the Big Ten season this weekend. The Hawkeyes will travel to Columbus, OH, Saturday to face Ohio State and to Bloomington, IN, Sunday to face Indiana. Competition will begin at 11 a.m. (CDT) each day.

SCOUTING OHIO STATE — The Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1) are ranked third in the latest rankings from College Tennis Online. Nine of the Buckeyes’ wins have come against ranked opponents. The team’s single loss this season came from No. 1 Georgia by the score of 4-0. Ohio State is led in singles by seventh-ranked Steven Moneke, 26th-ranked Bryan Koniecko, 49th-ranked Chris Klingemann and 53rd-ranked Devin Mullings.

SCOUTING INDIANA — The Indiana Hoosiers (10-6, 0-1) most recently posted a win over 57th-ranked Furman University, 6-1. David Bubenicek is leading the team in singles with a record of 8-5 in the No. 1 position. Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter team to form Indiana’s No. 1 doubles team with a record of 9-3.

THE SERIES — Iowa leads the series with Ohio State by one match, 24-23. The Hawkeyes trail in the series against Indiana, 43-15.

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes won three matches during their Spring Break trip to California. Iowa defeated UC Santa Barbara, 5-2, UC San Diego, 6-3, and Dartmouth, 6-1. Juniors Bart van Monsjou and J.P. Ritchie, sophomore Greg Holm and freshmen Reinoud Haal and Tommy McGeorge were undefeated in singles competition during the trip. Ritchie and van Monsjou suffered their first loss in the No. 1 doubles spot to the 17th-ranked duo from UC San Diego.

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 284-289 (.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 had a very successful Spring Break trip. I hope it carries over into the Big Ten season. We really have our work cut out for us. Ohio State is a legitimate contender for the national title and Indiana is always a tough team.”