Hawkeyes Face Second-Ranked Ohio State

March 3, 2008

THIS WEEK — The No. 66 University of Iowa men’s tennis team (6-2 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) will host second-ranked Ohio State Friday. The match will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center with competition scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

SCOUTING OHIO STATE — Ohio State, 12-1 overall, was this season’s ITA National Team Indoors Championship runner-up. The Buckeyes only loss this season has come at the hands of top-ranked Virginia. They have defeated the likes of No. 4 Mississippi, No. 22 Pepperdine, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 7 Southern California, No. 9 Baylor and No. 3 Georgia. The Buckeyes have four players ranked in the top 100 singles. In addition, they are the two-time defending Big Ten Champions and are coached by Ty Tucker.

THE SERIES — The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are tied all-time at 24. Ohio State defeated Iowa last year in Columbus.

LAST TIME OUT — Iowa defeated DePaul 6-1 Sunday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes started off by claiming the doubles point, then went on to take five singles matches (van Monsjou, Ritchie, Bierich, Haal, McGeorge).

IN THE RANKINGS — In men’s singles rankings, senior Bart van Monsjou is No. 93 and in team rankings Iowa is No. 66. Rankings are produced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). They are released every Wednesday and can be found at collegetennisonline.com.

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT — The University of Iowa will be hosting this year’s Big Ten Tournament, April 24-27. The tournament will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex (indoor) and the Klotz Outdoor Courts.

HEAD COACH Steve Houghton — Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 27th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 291-301 (.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), second best in Iowa history.

QUOTING COACH HOUGHTON — “Ohio State is not only an elite team in the Big Ten, but as evidenced by their No. 2 ranking, they are clearly an elite team nationally. Our guys are very excited for this match and look at it as a great opportunity to secure what would be undoubtedly our biggest win in recent years.”

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