Hawkeyes Look To Continue Winning Ways On Road

March 23, 2009

THIS WEEK — The 67th-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team continues Big Ten conference play on the road this weekend. Iowa will travel to Ohio State Friday in a match scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (CST). The Hawkeyes will then travel to Penn State. Iowa’s Sunday match against the Nittany Lions will begin at 10 a.m. (CST).

SCOUTING OHIO STATE — Ohio State, ranked sixth nationally, is the defending Big Ten Conference champion. The Buckeyes are 16-1 overall and are tied, with Iowa, for second in conference play at 2-0. They are coached by Ty Tucker. He is in his tenth season as the Buckeye Head Coach.

SCOUTING PENN STATE — Penn State, ranked 55th nationally, is 8-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play. The Nittany Lions are led by third-year Head Coach Todd Doebler.

THE SERIES — Iowa is 24-26 all-time against Ohio State and 10-10 against Penn State. The Hawkeyes lost to the Buckeyes 7-0 during the regular season last year and 4-0 during the second round of the 2008 Big Ten tournament. Iowa lost at Penn State 6-1 last year.

LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes defeated Big Ten rivals Michigan State (4-3) and Michigan (4-3) this past weekend in Iowa City. Michigan State was ranked 68th nationally and Michigan was ranked 40th.

IN THE RANKINGS — Iowa is ranked No. 67 in the latest ITA team rankings. Ten of the 11 Big Ten Conference schools are ranked. In doubles competition, senior Christian Bierich and sophomore Nikita Zotov are ranked 55th nationally and freshman Will Vasos and junior Tommy McGeorge are ranked 15th in the midwest regional rankings. McGeorge and Vasos are undefeated in dual match play at 12-0. Additionally, Bierich is ranked 15th in midwest regional singles. The rankings can be found at collegetennisonline.com or at itatennis.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 308-311 (.498) 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.

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