Feb. 9, 2009
THIS WEEK — The 59th-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team will host Illinois State Friday. The match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. Iowa will then face Western Michigan Sunday at noon. Both matches will be played at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Admission is free.
SCOUTING ILLINOIS STATE — Illinois State enters Friday’s match with a record of 2-2. The Redbirds have defeated Eastern Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and have lost to Purdue and Arkansas. Illinois State is coached by Cris James. The Purdue graduate is in his second season as head coach.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN — Western Michigan currently holds a record of 6-1. The Broncos will face Michigan State, Ferris State and Illinois State this week before taking on the Hawkeyes Sunday. They are coached by Minnesota graduate Dave Morin. He is in his 13th season.
THE SERIES — Iowa is 20-0 all-time against Illinois State and 13-12 against Western Michigan. The Hawkeyes played at Western Michigan in 2008, winning 4-3.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes gave Head Coach Steve Houghton his 300th career victory Friday with a 6-1 win at Indiana State. Sunday, Iowa came up just short against 48th-ranked Denver, losing 4-3.
IN THE RANKINGS — Iowa is ranked No. 59 in the latest ITA team rankings and senior Christian Bierich is ranked No. 119 in the singles rankings. They are released every Tuesday and can be found at collegetennisonline.com.
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 300-310 (.492) since taking over the program in 1982. His best season came in 1984 when Iowa won a school record 21 matches and two Hawkeyes earned all-Big Ten honors. In 1989, Houghton was named NCAA Region IV Coach of the Year and picked up his 100th career dual win. 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.