Sept. 24, 2008
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Evanston, IL, to compete in the 2008 Northwestern Invitational. The event will cover three days at the Combe Tennis Center, with play beginning Friday and concluding Sunday. It will be Iowa’s first event of the fall season. Competition will begin Friday at 11 a.m. There will be two divisions of singles and two divisions of doubles. Iowa will have four individuals competing in both singles divisions and two doubles pairs competing in both doubles divisions. Teams competing alongside Iowa this weekend include DePaul, Illinois State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Toledo and Bradley.
IOWA COMPETITORS — Seniors Christian Bierich and Greg Holm, juniors Reinoud Haal, Tommy McGeorge and Patrick Dwyer, and sophomores Gentry Kaegi and Austen Kauss will be competing this weekend for the Hawkeyes. In addition, freshman Will Vasos will be competing in his first collegiate competition this weekend.
2008 – A YEAR TO REMEMBER — The Hawkeyes finished 13-10 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten Conference play in 2008. Iowa was nationally ranked in the final ITA Division I poll at 59th and was ranked as high as 41st during the year. As a team, Iowa defeated seven ranked opponents last year.
Leading the Hawkeyes was Bart van Monsjou. The senior finished the season ranked 68th in singles competition with a record of 15-6 in dual matches. van Monsjou teamed up with fellow senior J.P. Ritchie in doubles play. The duo was nationally ranked throughout the season and finished with a record of 14-8 in dual matches. van Monsjou was a unanimous first team all-Big Ten selection. The senior was the first Hawkeye to be named since Stuart Waters was selected to the first team in 2003.
HEAD COACH Steve Houghton — Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 28th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Houghton has a career record of 298-309 (.490). 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 — “This should be a good, strong event for us. It is a good strong field that includes four Big Ten teams. It is a particularly good opportunity for our less-experienced players.”