By A Landslide

Jan. 30, 2011

Photo Gallery

IOWA CITY, Iowa —The University of Iowa men’s tennis team kicked their season off with flying colors at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex this Sunday. The No. 63 Hawkeyes won every set in singles and doubles, cruising to a 7-0 victory over the Bluejays.

“I’m pleased with the win, especially an opening day victory,” said head coach Steve Houghton. “I’m not over-joyed by any means, but I’m certainly not disappointed either. We see it as a good win, but also recognize we need to get better in the days coming.”

Iowa took the first team point, sweeping through doubles competition in all three matches. It was senior Nikita Zotov and sophomore Garret Dunn who got the ball rolling for the Hawkeyes with a quick 8-1 victory over Creighton’s Ryan Norman and Gabe Nagy, and Iowa never looked back from there.

Senior Austen Kauss and junior Will Vasos, two of the team’s leaders in returning experience, followed suit with an 8-4 victory against the Bluejays’ Kyle Obermeier and Sean Mathison. In No. 1 doubles play, senior Marc Bruche and freshman Jonas Dierckx’s contest with J.T. Christian and Billy Paluch came down to the wire, but the Black and Gold prevailed 8-7.

Bruche, who won 11 singles matches in the No. 1 position last season, had another close contest in singles play. Facing Paluch, Bruche was forced to score a seventh point to claim the first set, and won the second set 6-3 to tally another score for Iowa.

Zotov faced off against Christian in the No. 2 singles spot, and took the first set with ease 6-1. Zotov came from behind to win the second set in extended action 7-5. Like Zotov, Vasos won his first set against Obermeier 6-1 to gather momentum. Vasos closed off strong with a 6-2 advantage in the second set.

Both of Iowa’s newcomers to the singles lineup closed out their matches quickly, as the two each won both of their sets comfortably. Dunn defeated Nagy 6-1, 6-4, while Beckert knocked off Norman 6-2, 6-2.

Kauss played a marathon match with Bryan Lube, coming from behind in both sets and securing a tie-breaker in the dual’s last match to finish. Kauss came back from a 3-5 deficit to win the first set 7-5, and also come back from a 3-4 disadvantage to win 7-6 (5) and keep Iowa perfect on the day.

“Singles-wise, I kind of had a rough match,” Kauss said with a laugh. “The kid I played was a pretty good player, a little unorthodox, and it forced me to think a lot. It was our first match of the season, so we weren’t expecting to be perfect or anything like that, we just wanted to get the job done.”

Iowa will hit the courts next this Saturday, traveling to take on DePaul. Start time is at 2:00 p.m.

Iowa 7, Creighton 0
Singles ResultsMarc Bruche (Iowa) def. Billy Paluch (Creighton) 7-5, 6-3Nikita Zotov (Iowa) def. J.T. Christian (Creighton) 6-1, 7-5Will Vasos (Iowa) def. Kyle Obermeier (Creighton) 6-1, 6-2Austen Kauss (Iowa) def. Bryan Lube (Creighton) 7-5, 7-6 (5)Garret Dunn (Iowa) def. Gabe Nagy (Creighton) 6-1, 6-4Mitch Beckert (Iowa) def. Ryan Norman (Creighton) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles ResultsMarc Bruche/Jonas Dierckx (Iowa) def. J.T. Christian/Billy Paluch (Creighton) 8-7Austen Kauss/Will Vasos (Iowa) def. Kyle Obermeier/Sean Mathison (Creighton) 8-4Garret Dunn/Nikita Zotov (Iowa) def. Ryan Norman/Gabe Nagy (Creighton) 8-1=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>