Oct. 28, 2008
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Madison, WI, Friday to compete at the Big Ten Singles Championship. Competition will begin Friday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium with the singles qualifying draw and will conclude Monday.
LAST TIME OUT — Iowa finished with a singles record of 7-7 and a doubles record of 3-3 at the ITA Regionals in Columbus, OH. Junior Tommy McGeorge and senior Christian Bierich led the Hawkeyes. McGeorge went 3-0 in the qualifying draw to advance to the main draw. Bierich advanced to the round of 32 in the main draw before falling to Roy Kalmanovich of Illinois, 6-3, 6-4.
2008 – A SOLID YEAR — 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. 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.
2007 BIG TEN SINGLES — Iowa enjoyed great success at the Big Ten Singles Championship last season. Three of the final eight players in the tournament were Hawkeyes (J.P. Ritchie, Bart van Monsjou, Reinoud Haal). van Monsjou finished second in the tournament. It was the deepest a Hawkeye had advanced in the championship since Tyler Cleveland won the event in 2000.
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 is our first time this season to see all of the Big Ten teams in one tournament. I am looking toward a strong finish after a very good start to the fall season.”