Iowa Set To Open Fall Season

Sept. 28, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa men’s tennis team opens the fall season this weekend. Iowa will send competitors to two tournaments Friday-Sunday. Marc Bruche, Nikita Zotov, Tommy McGeorge and Will Vasos will travel to Tulsa, OK, to compete at the ITA All-American Tournament. Mitch Beckert, Garret Dunn, Patrick Dwyer, Connor Gilmore, Reinoud Haal, Austen Kauss, Tom Mroziewicz and Christopher Speer will travel to the Northwestern Invite.

The Hawkeyes have three newcomers on the squad this fall. Sophomore Marc Bruche and freshmen Garret Dunn and Connor Gilmore will all see their first action as Hawkeyes this weekend. Bruche competed last season with the Baylor Bears.

The Hawkeyes finished 12-9 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten Conference play in 2009. Iowa was ranked 60th nationally in the final ITA Division I poll and was ranked as high as 52nd during the year. As a team, Iowa defeated five ranked opponents. Leading the Hawkeyes was senior Christian Bierich. The senior, nationally ranked throughout the season, finished the season with a singles record of 11-9 and a doubles record of 10-10. Bierich, the fall Big Ten Singles champion, was a first team all-Big Ten selection. The honor marked the second-straight season a Hawkeye was named to the all-conference squad as Bart van Monsjou was named in 2008.

HEAD COACH Steve Houghton
Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 29th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 310-318 (.494), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men’s tennis history. Houghton recorded his 300th win at Indiana State Feb. 6, 2009. His best season came in 1984 when Iowa won a school-record 21 matches and two Hawkeyes earned all-Big Ten honors. 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.

“This will be a very exciting weekend for us. We are excited that all 12 members of our team will be competing. The All-American Tournament in Tulsa is a great opportunity for our guys to face top competition and the Northwestern Invite will feature many of the top teams in the Midwest. I am particularly excited to see how our newcomers fare.”