Iowa Set For Annual Big Ten Singles Tournament

Oct. 28, 2009

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The University of Iowa men’s tennis team travels to East Lansing, MI, this weekend to compete at the annual Big Ten Singles Tournament. Competition will begin Friday and conclude Monday. For the first time in the history of the tournament, a doubles competition will be held Friday. Two flights of singles will begin Saturday.

Marc Bruche, Reinoud Haal, Will Vasos, Nikita Zotov, Tommy McGeorge, Austen Kauss, Patrick Dwyer and Garret Dunn will all travel to East Lansing to compete in the annual tournament this weekend.

Last year, senior Christian Bierich won six-straight matches, losing only one set, to claim the Big Ten Singles Championship. It marked the second-straight year a Hawkeye advanced to the championship match. Bart van Monsjou was runner-up in 2007.

The Hawkeyes have three newcomers on the squad this fall (sophomore Marc Bruche and freshmen Garret Dunn and Connor Gilmore). Bruche competed last season with the Baylor Bears. He saw his first action as a Hawkeye at the ITA All-American Championships. Dunn recorded his first career collegiate victory at the Wildcat Invite and Gilmore recorded his first career victory at the Purdue Fall Invitational.

2009 – A SOLID YEAR —
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. Senior Christian Bierich was a first team all-Big Ten selection. The honor marked the second-straight season a Hawkeye was named to the all-conference squad (Bart van Monsjou, 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.