Feb. 16, 2011
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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team (1-3 overall) will challenge Illinois State and Western Michigan this week. It will be a homecoming for the Hawkeyes, who will spend their next four matches at home after competing on the road the last three contests. Iowa will take on the Redbirds Friday at 3 p.m., and the Broncos Sunday at 10:30 a.m. inside the HTRC.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Illinois State has a 4-1 record this season, and defeated Northern Illinois 6-1 in their last contest. The Redbirds are 0-1 against Big Ten opponents this season. Western Michigan has a 6-2 record this season, winning four matches in a fow before losing to Nebraska last time out. Neither team is ranked.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes went 0-2 in a road trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Iowa lost their opening contest against the No. 71 Razorbacks 6-1, and then fell to No. 47 Santa Clara 4-3. Junior Marc Bruche led Iowa with three victories, going a perfect 2-0 against Santa Clara. Nikita Zotov and Austen Kauss also picked up singles victories against Santa Clara. Will Vasos led Iowa against Arkansas, going 2-0 on the day.
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 324-331 (.499), 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 more tough teams. When you look at our schedule, it’s like that all year. These two are at the top of their conferences, and will provide a challenge for us.”
UP NEXT: Iowa will take on in-state foe Drake on Feb. 23rd at 6 p.m. inside the HTRC. The Bulldogs are currently 4-0.