March 11, 2011
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UPCOMING ACTION The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will be campaigning through the state of Florida next week, facing UCF, USF and Florida Atlantic. The trip will start on Sunday with the Hawkeyes taking on Central Florida at 10 a.m. (CT) in Orlando. From there, the Hawkeyes will travel to Tampa to battle the Bulls on Monday at 11 a.m. (CT) and then face the Owls back in Orlando on Thursday at 10 a.m. (CT).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS Central Florida is 6-6 overall, and has played one opponent in common with Iowa. The Knights lost to Drake 5-2, a team Iowa defeated 5-2 at home. The Bulls are also 5-2 on the season. Florida Atlantic has a 6-4 record, and defeated both UCF and USF earlier this season.
IN THE RANKINGS The Hawkeyes are once again ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, jumping two spots to the No. 71 position. Iowa also is ranked in doubles for the first time all season, as Will Vasos and Marc Bruche are ranked No. 71.
BIG TEN OPENER The Hawkeyes nearly took down No. 4 Illinois to kick off the Big Ten season, losing 4-3. After securing the doubles point and two singles wins, Iowa held a 3-2 team lead before Illinois rallied. Senior Nikita Zotov won in No. 2 singles, as well as sophomore Garret Dunn in No. 5 singles. Bruche and Vasos won in the top doubles position to collect their fifth doubles win of the season. Senior Austen Kauss and freshman Jonas Dierckx also won in No. 2 doubles. It was Iowa’s third match in a row winning the doubles point. The loss was Iowa’s first at home this season, and the defeat snapped a three match win streak that put Iowa back in the rankings.
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 327-332 (.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. Houghton has coached 19 All-Big Ten performers and his players have received 93 Academic All-Big Ten accolades.. Four of Houghton’s athletes have also been selected Big Ten Sportsman of the Year.
QUOTE FROM HOUGHTON “This road trip will serve a good purpose in terms of us getting accustomed to playing outdoor tennis, along with that we will also be facing three good teams.”
UP NEXT Iowa returns to their home courts on March 25th, hosting another top Big Ten team. The Hawkeyes face No. 3 Ohio State on Friday at 2 p.m.