No. 26 Hawkeyes Ready for Conference Tourney

April 27, 2010

Tournament Bracket

The University of Iowa women’s tennis team is hosting the 2010 Big Ten Championships this weekend at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with a match between eighth-seeded Wisconsin and ninth-seeded Minnesota.

Iowa’s first match will be against the fifth-seeded Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes play at 10 a.m. Friday. The last time the teams met in regular season, Iowa persevered, taking the 4-3 win.

The tournament will run through Sunday with the championship match held at noon. Weather permitting, all matches will be played on the Klotz Outdoor Courts. Admission to the event is free. Live stats and all other tournament information will be available on The championship match will be recorded by the Big Ten Network and replayed May 9th at 3 p.m. (CT).

Michigan leads the Big Ten conference with a spotless league record of 10-0, followed closely by Northwestern (9-1). Illinois holds on to the third spot at 8-2, and Iowa sits in fourth with a 6-4 record. Purdue, Ohio State and Indiana are all tied up with 5-5 records, while Minnesota and Wisconsin are knotted at 3-7. Michigan State is 1-9 and Penn State is winless in conference play.

The Big Ten has dominated women’s tennis throughout the country this season. With seven teams ranked in the top 75, and five in the top 50, the conference is full of tough competition. The Wolverines lead the pack ranked fourth, followed by the Northwestern Wildcats at No. 6. Illinois is ranked 21st, followed closely by the Hawkeyes at 26th. Ohio State and Purdue round out the top 50, ranked 35th and 49th, respectively. Minnesota wraps up conference rankings at No. 71.

The Hawkeyes, under first-year Head Coach Katie Dougherty, have posted the best team record in four years. Dougherty has also led the team to the winningest season ever under a first-year head coach.

Iowa has soared through the national rankings this season. Once ranked as high as 18th, the highest in program history, the team now claims the 26th spot on the list.

Sophomore Sonja Molnar and senior Merel Beelen have also enjoyed success in the national spotlight. The Iowa duo is ranked 15th nationally, while Molnar is ranked 62nd individually.