Iowa Set To Hit The Road

April 7, 2010

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The 60th-ranked University of Iowa men’s tennis team hits the road this weekend. Iowa, 10-5 overall, faces Big Ten rival Indiana Saturday at noon (CT). The Hawkeyes then travel to play Illinois Sunday at noon.

Indiana, ranked 41st nationally, is 11-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. The Hoosiers are led by third-year Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal. Illinois, ranked 13th nationally, is 12-7 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten action. The Fighting Illini have defeated nine nationally ranked teams. They are coached by Brad Dancer. He is in his fifth season.

Iowa is 17-45 all-time against Indiana and 21-53 against Illinois. The Hawkeyes fell to the Fighting Illini at home last season, 5-2. Iowa downed the Hoosiers in Iowa City, 5-2.

The Hawkeyes opened their conference home slate last weekend against No. 2 Ohio State and No. 58 Penn State. The Hawkeyes lost to the Buckeyes, 6-1, Friday. Sunday, the Hawkeyes downed the Nittany Lions in a thriller. Marc Bruche clinched the match at the No. 1 position to give Iowa a 4-3 victory.

The Hawkeyes have played 16 matches this season and hold a record of 10-5. Iowa’s match against Sacramento State was protested. ITA determined that neither team would receive a win or a loss due to the illegality of Sacramento State’s lineup. While neither squad earned a win or a loss, all individual results still count.

Iowa is ranked No. 60 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 the 15th-ranked singles player in the central region. 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 320-324 (.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.