March 9, 2009
THIS WEEK — The 62nd-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to the state of Arizona for its annual spring trip. The Hawkeyes will face Northern Arizona in Phoenix Friday. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. (CST). Iowa will then travel to Tucson, AZ to face Arizona Sunday at noon (CST). The Hawkeyes will conclude the trip Monday with a match against Cal Poly. The match is scheduled to begin at noon (CST) in Tucson.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ARIZONA — Northern Arizona currently sits at 2-10 overall. The Lumberjacks are coached by Kim Bruno. Bruno, in her first season as head men’s tennis coach, oversees both the men’s and women’s programs.
SCOUTING ARIZONA — Arizona, ranked 17th nationally, currently holds a record of 11-1 overall. They are coached by Tad Berkowitz. He is in his fourth season at the helm of the program.
SCOUTING CAL POLY — Cal Poly enters the weekend with a record of 4-5 overall. The Mustangs are led by third-year head coach Justin McGrath.
THE SERIES — Iowa is 3-0 all-time against Northern Arizona. The Hawkeyes have never defeated Arizona, losing the first 12 matches against the Wildcats. In addition, Iowa has never faced Cal Poly.
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes defeated ranked opponents Drake, 5-2, (Feb. 25) and DePaul, 6-1, (Feb. 28) at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
IN THE RANKINGS — Iowa is ranked No. 62 in the latest ITA team rankings. Additionally, senior Christian Bierich and sophomore Nikita Zotov are ranked 31st nationally in doubles competition. The rankings 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 304-310 (.495) 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.