Nov. 28, 2007
IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa men’s tennis team has good reason to look forward to the 2008 spring season, especially after completing an excellent fall campaign. Iowa competed in four events during the fall season and improved at each as the season progressed. The Hawkeyes compiled records of 56-50 in singles matches and 19-15 in doubles matches. Also, Iowa will host the 2008 Big Ten Championships in April.
Iowa began its fall season at the Tom Fallon Invitational in Notre Dame, IN. The Hawkeyes claimed 11 singles victories while playing without three of their top players. Christian Bierich, J.P. Ritchie and Bart van Monsjou all competed at the ITA All-American Championships. Freshman Gentry Kaegi and Austen Kauss recorded their first collegiate victories at the Tom Fallon Invitational.
The Hawkeyes then traveled to the Purdue Invite. Iowa improved once again, claiming 30 singles victories in West Lafayette, IN. Van Monsjou won flight `A’, as he never lost a set during the weekend. Fellow senior Ritchie claimed first place in flight `B’. In addition, Tommy McGeorge finished second in flight `C’ and Gregory Holm finished second in flight `D’.
Following its trip to the Purdue Invite, Iowa traveled to Minneapolis, MN to compete at the ITA Midwest Regional. The Hawkeyes enjoyed another successful weekend as 16th-seeded van Monsjou advanced to the round of 16. Reinoud Haal and Ritchie each advanced to the round of 32. In doubles play, eighth-seeded Ritchie/van Monsjou advanced to the quarterfinals.
Iowa closed the fall season at the Big Ten Singles, which was its strongest event of the year. Three of the eight players remaining on the final day were Hawkeyes. Seventh-seeded van Monsjou finished second in the main draw by defeating N. Polley of Wisconsin in the semifinals before falling to J. Jung of Michigan in the finals. Along the way, van Monsjou claimed five victories, two coming over the fourth and fifth-seeded players. Van Monsjou’s second place finish is the highest a Hawkeye has finished since Tyler Cleveland won the event in 2000. Additionally in the consolation bracket, Haal advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion L. Rassow-Kantor of Wisconsin. Ritchie beat D. Ozanne of Ohio State in the semifinals before losing to Rassow-Kantor.
Head Coach Steve Houghton was happy with the results of the fall season.
“This has clearly been the best fall season we have had in recent memory,” Houghton said. “All of our guys improved throughout the fall and we are extremely optimistic about the spring season.”