April 2, 2007
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team (7-7, 0-4) will continue Big Ten competition by traveling to East Lansing, MI, to face Michigan State Saturday. Competition will begin at 11 a.m. (CDT) at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE — Michigan State (9-13, 0-6) has faced 12 ranked teams this season. The team is currently in last place in the Big Ten standings. Junior Nick Rinks was named Big Ten Player of the Week earlier this season after an impressive performance against Michigan. He is ranked 45th in the latest poll from College Tennis Online and has a record of 13-7 in singles competition.
THE SERIES — Iowa leads the series with Michigan State, 29-24. Iowa was defeated last year in East Lansing, 5-2.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes were defeated by No. 40 Penn State, 7-0, and No. 25 Michigan, 6-1, last weekend. The absence of junior Bart van Monsjou caused Iowa to use an unusually young line up. Junior J.P. Ritchie led the squad while playing in the No. 1 singles position. Freshman Patrick Dwyer posted his eighth singles win of the season against Michigan. Sophomore Christian Bierich teamed with freshman Reinoud Haal to compete in the No. 3 doubles spot. They were defeated by Michigan, but recorded Iowa’s only doubles win of the weekend by defeating a duo from Penn State.
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 284-293 (.491). 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 hope to get our No. 1 player, Bart van Monsjou, back this weekend. It should give us a real boost.”
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