April 20, 2009
THIS WEEK — The 63rd-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team travels to the Big Ten Championships this week in Ann Arbor, MI. Iowa, seeded ninth, will face eighth-seeded Wisconsin Thursday in the first round. Iowa’s match with the Badgers is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. (CT). The winner will face league champion Ohio State in the second round Friday.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT — Michigan is hosting this year’s tournament at the Varsity Tennis Center. The first round will begin Thursday and play will conclude Sunday with the championship match. The championship match will be aired on the Big Ten Network, tape delayed, on Sunday, May 3 at 5 p.m. (CT). Iowa defeated Purdue last season in the first round (4-0) before losing to top-seeded Ohio State (4-0).
SCOUTING WISCONSIN — Wisconsin, ranked 30th nationally, finished the regular season 15-9 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten action. The Badgers are coached by Greg Van Emburgh. He is in his fourth season as head coach of the program.
THE SERIES — Iowa is 31-59-2 all-time against the Badgers. The Hawkeyes lost at Wisconsin, earlier this season, 5-2. Junior Tommy McGeorge and freshman Tom Mroziewicz claimed singles victories for Iowa.
IN THE RANKINGS — Iowa is ranked No. 63 in the latest ITA team rankings. In doubles competition, senior Christian Bierich and junior Reinoud Haal are ranked 78th nationally and Will Vasos and McGeorge are ranked 15th in the midwest regional rankings. McGeorge and Vasos finished 17-3 in dual match play. Additionally, Bierich, the reigning Big Ten Singles champion, is ranked 15th in midwest regional singles. The rankings can be found at collegetennisonline.com or at itatennis.com.
SEASON WRAPUP — The Hawkeyes (12-8 overall, 4-6 Big Ten) finished the season tied for seventh in the Big Ten with Penn State and Wisconsin. Additionally, Iowa defeated five nationally ranked teams and finished 9-2 in Iowa City.
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 310-317 (.494) since taking over the program in 1982. He recorded his 300th career victory when Iowa won at Indiana State earlier this season. 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.