April 6, 2009
THIS WEEK — The 64th-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team hits the road this weekend to continue Big Ten conference play. Iowa will play at Wisconsin Saturday in a match scheduled to begin at noon. The Hawkeyes will then play at Northwestern Sunday. Iowa’s Sunday match against the Wildcats will also begin at noon. Iowa is currently tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a record of 3-3.
SCOUTING WISCONSIN — Wisconsin, ranked 24th nationally, is currently 14-6 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten conference action. The Badgers are coached by Greg Van Emburgh. He is in his fourth season as the head coach of the program.
SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN — Northwestern, ranked 58th nationally, is 15-6 overall and 3-3 in conference play. The Wildcats are led by second-year Head Coach Arvid Swan.
THE SERIES — Iowa is 31-58-2 all-time against Wisconsin and 24-54 against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes lost at Wisconsin last season (1-6) and won at Northwestern (6-1).
LAST TIME OUT — The Hawkeyes split with Big Ten rivals Illinois (L, 2-5) and Indiana (W, 5-2) in Iowa City this past weekend. Illinois was ranked 12th nationally and Indiana was ranked 43rd. Additionally, freshman Tom Mroziewicz competed in his first career dual match against the Hoosiers. He defeated Stepen Vogl 7-6, 6-4, at the No. 6 position.
IN THE RANKINGS — Iowa is ranked No. 64 in the latest ITA team rankings. Nine of the 11 Big Ten Conference schools are ranked in the top 75 nationally. In doubles competition, senior Christian Bierich and sophomore Nikita Zotov are ranked 57th nationally and freshman Will Vasos and junior Tommy McGeorge are ranked 15th in the midwest regional rankings. McGeorge and Vasos are 15-1 in dual match play. 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 309-314 (.496) 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.