Iowa Set To Host #2 Ohio State In Big Ten Home Opener

March 30, 2010

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The 73rd-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team opens its Big Ten home slate this weekend. Iowa, 9-4 overall, hosts No. 2 Ohio State Friday at 2 p.m. The Black and Gold will also host No. 58 Penn State Sunday at 10 a.m. Both matches will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Admission is free.

Ohio State (18-1 overall, 2-0 in Big Ten play) is ranked second, nationally. The Buckeyes are coached by Ty Tucker. He is in his 11th season. Penn State (12-4 overall, 1-1 in conference play) is ranked 58th, nationally. The Nittany Lions are led by fourth year Head Coach Todd Doebler. Penn State lost at Ohio State Sunday, 7-0.

Iowa is 24-27 all-time against Ohio State and 10-11 against Penn State. The Hawkeyes lost at Ohio State (7-0) and Penn State (4-3) last season.

The Hawkeyes opened conference play on the road last weekend. Iowa won at Michigan State Saturday, 5-2. The Hawkeyes then lost at No. 28 Michigan Sunday, 6-1.

Iowa finished the non-conference schedule with a record of 8-3. Iowa’s remaining regular season matches will all be against conference opponents. The Hawkeyes went 1-1 on their trip to Michigan. Iowa now has eight more conference matches, five of which are at home.

Iowa is ranked No. 73 in the current ITA team rankings. Nine of the 11 Big Ten schools are nationally ranked. Iowa is ranked fourth in the latest central region rankings. In addition, sophomore Marc Bruche is ranked 15th in singles. Rankings can be found at

HEAD COACH Steve Houghton
Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is in his 29th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 319-323 (.498), 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. 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.