Hawkeyes Muzzle Bulldogs in Iowa City

Feb. 23, 2011

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa men’s tennis team stayed perfect at home this season en route to their third consecutive victory over in-state foe Drake. The Hawkeyes (4-3 overall) topped the previously unbeaten Bulldogs (6-1) 5-2 at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center on Wednesday night.

It was Iowa’s third consecutive victory as well, as the Hawkeyes have gone 3-0 since returning from their Arkansas trip, and now have a 4-0 home mark.

“This is another very good win for us against a strong team. Drake is going to win a lot of matches this year,” said head coach Steve Houghton. “I was particularly impressed with our improvement in doubles. Marc (Bruche), Will (Vasos), Austen (Kauss) and Garret (Dunn) continue to be a bright spot for us in singles as well.”

Just like the Illinois State match, Iowa had the two final singles matches go into a third set. The matches again featured senior Austen Kauss and junior Will Vasos, and they both came through clutch just like last time.

Vasos (6-1 overall) clinched the match for Iowa, as his victory gave Iowa a 4-2 team lead. Vasos dropped a lead in the first set and fell to James McKie 7-6 in the first set, but responded with a dominating 6-2 second set win and 6-2 third set win.

Although the team victory was already secured, Kauss (5-2) battled through for a three set win as well in the final match of the night. Kauss defeated Drake’s Anis Ghorbel 6-2, 1-6, 7-6.

Junior Marc Bruche (5-2) notched the first singles point for Iowa with an upset of a ranked opponent. Bruche was in control early and often, topping No. 122 Mauricio Ballivan 6-2, 6-3.

Sophomore Garret Dunn continued to be an anchor for Iowa in the singles lineup, earning his fifth win of the season. Dunn defeated Jonathan Hadash 6-2, 7-6 in No. 6 singles play.

“The guys that won for us really played well,” said Houghton. “There were some up-and-down sets, and those guys played particularly well when the pressure was on.”

The Black and Gold went 3-of-3 in doubles play for the second time this season, sweeping Drake to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Junior Tom Mroziewicz and Dunn got the ball rolling for Iowa with a quick 8-2 advantage over Drake’s Jean Erasmus and Jonathan Hadash.

After impressing Houghton after the Western Michigan contest, freshman Jonas Dierckx again teamed up with senior Austen Kauss in No. 2 doubles and didn’t disappoint. The Hawkeyes took the contest against Anis Ghorbel and James McKie by an 8-5 count to hand the duo their first loss of the season.

Iowa’s winningest doubles tandem this season provided Iowa with the third victory in doubles, as Will Vasos and Marc Bruche improved their record to 4-1 with an 8-7 victory over Maricio Ballivan and Robin Goodman. Drake’s previously unbeaten Ballivan and Goodman tied the match at 7-7, but the Hawkeyes were able to prevail.

Iowa will begin Big Ten play in their next contest, hosting Illinois on March 6th at the HTRC. Start time is set for noon.

“We have a break here to heal up physically, and mentally, and that is coming at a good time,” said Houghton. “It won’t be hard for our guys to get pumped up for Illinois either. They are a perennial power in the conference, and are ranked in the top-ten.”

Iowa 5,Drake 2

Singles Marc Bruche (IOWA) def. No. 122 Maricio Ballivan (Drake) 6-2, 6-3 Jean Erasmus (Drake) def. Nikita Zotov (IOWA) 6-1, 6-2 Will Vasos (Iowa) def. James McKie (Drake) 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 Austen Kauss (IOWA) def. Anis Ghorbel (Drake) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 Robin Goodman (Drake) def. Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA) 6-2, 6-1 Garret Dunn (IOWA) def. Jonathan Hadash (Drake) 6-2, 7-6

Doubles Bruche/Vasos (IOWA) def. Ballivan/Goodman (Drake) 8-7 Kauss/Jonas Dierckx (IOWA) def. Ghorbel/McKie (Drake) 8-5 Dunn/Mroziewicz (IOWA) def. Erasmus/Hadash (Drake) 8-2