Feb. 9, 2011
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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team (1-1 overall) will travel to Fayetteville, AR, for a pair of matches this weekend. The Hawkeyes will face No. 71 Arkansas on Friday and No. 47 Santa Clara on Saturday. Both matches will be played at the Dills Indoor Facility on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The No. 71 Razorbacks are 1-1 this season with a win against SMU and a loss to UNLV. The No. 47 Broncos enter the contest with a 4-3 record.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 74 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Iowa will be facing a ranked opponent for the first time this season. Last year, Iowa knocked off three ranked teams.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes dropped their first contest of the season last week, falling 5-2 on the road to DePaul (6-1). Garret Dunn led the Hawkeyes with a singles and doubles victory to remain unbeaten on the season. Dunn beat Filip Dzanko 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), and teamed up with Nikita Zotov to beat Dzanko and Ben Hartman 8-6 in doubles. Junior Will Vasos improved his singles record to 2-0, beating Matija Palinic 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles spot.
FALL RECAP: Marc Bruche provided the fireworks for the Hawkeyes during the fall season, earning a 9-3 singles record and winning the Flight A singles bracket at the Northwestern Invitational. Bruche’s nine singles wins led the team. Fellow senior Austen Kauss also earned five singles victories during the fall season. The tandem of Kauss and Will Vasos lead Iowa with five doubles victories.
HEAD COACH Steve Houghton: Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 30th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 324-328 (.496), 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.
HOUGHTON ON COMPETITION: “These are two very strong teams at a national level. We need to keep improving in order to be successful this weekend.”
UP NEXT: Iowa will take on Illinois State on Feb. 18th at the HTRC at 3 p.m.