April 24, 2008
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IOWA CITY, IA – The 55th-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team, seeded eighth in the Big Ten Tournament, defeated ninth-seeded Purdue Thursday in the first round, 4-0. The match was played inside at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex due to inclement weather.
The Hawkeyes started off strong, claiming the doubles point. At No. 1 doubles, Iowa’s duo of seniors Bart van Monsjou and J.P. Ritchie, ranked 56th nationally, were the first to finish. They defeated Purdue’s Bijelica/Kuzmanovic, 8-2. Finishing second was the No. 2 match of Greg Holm and Patrick Dwyer against Rose/Ramos. Holm and Dwyer were defeated by Rose and Ramos, 8-5. With doubles tied at 1, the point came down to the No. 3 match. Iowa’s Christian Bierich and Austen Kauss defeated Nienberg/Fuenmayor 8-3 to clinch the point for the Hawkeyes.
Moving to singles play, Iowa started off with a strong win at the No. 5 spot. Tommy McGeorge defeated Griff Nienberg, 6-2, 6-0 to bring the match to 2-0, Iowa. J.P. Ritchie finished quickly after, dominating Purdue’s P.J. Rose, 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 3 singles spot. Leading competition 3-0, the Hawkeyes had one match to finish before clinching the first-round victory. Finishing just seconds apart were Iowa’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles. At No. 2 singles, Bierich won 6-2, 6-4, clinching the victory for Iowa. Then at No. 1 singles, van Monsjou was victorious 6-1, 6-1. Technically this match was unfinished at 6-1, 5-1, because he finished just after Bierich.
The last time Iowa won its first match at the tournament was in 1998 in Illinois. There the Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State 4-2, in the first round.
“This was a really good win for us,” said Head Coach Steve Houghton. “It is very difficult to beat a good team two times within a one week period, and that was what we had to do. Winning the doubles point was key for us, and our guys did a good job of carrying that momentum into the singles matches. Playing Ohio State tomorrow will really be a challenge for us. They are ranked #2 in the nation and went undefeated in the Big Ten this season. That being said, we played them tough earlier this season, winning the first four singles sets. We will have to play our best match of the year, but our guys are confident that we can do that and hang with them.”
Iowa will face top-seeded Ohio State tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the second round of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes, ranked second nationally, are 29-1 overall and 10-0 in Big Ten play this season.
Iowa - 4Purdue - 0
Doubles:1.) #56 van Monsjou/Ritchie (Iowa) def. Kuzmanovic/Bijelica(Purdue) 8-22.) Rose/Ramos (Purdue) def. Holm/Dwyer (Iowa) 8-53.) Bierich/Kauss (Iowa) def. Nienberg/Fuenmayor (Purdue) 8-3
Singles:1.) #79 Bart van Monsjou (Iowa) vs. Branko Kuzmanovic (Purdue) 6-1, 5-1 (unfinished)2.) Christian Bierich (Iowa) def. Slavko Bijelica (Purdue) 6-2, 6-43.) J.P. Ritchie (Iowa) def. P.J. Rose (Purdue) 6-3, 6-14.) Reinoud Haal (Iowa) vs. Eric Ramos (Purdue) 5-7, 0-4 (unfinished)5.) Tommy McGeorge (Iowa) def. Griffin Nienberg (Purdue) 6-2, 6-06.) Greg Holm (Iowa) vs. Paul Foley (Purdue) 3-6, 5-2 (unfinished)
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