March 23, 2011
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THIS WEEK The No. 66 University of Iowa men’s tennis team will face stout Big Ten competition this weekend when they return to the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center. Iowa will face No. 5 Ohio State on Friday at 2 p.m. The Hawkeyes will also face Penn State at home on Sunday at 10 a.m.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS Ohio State comes in with a 15-2 record and ranked No. 5 in the nation. The Buckeyes have seven players ranked nationally in singles, including No. 5 Blaz Rola. Ohio State also has two doubles teams ranked within the top-14. Penn State comes in with a 10-8 record. The Nittany Lions have won their last four matches.
IN THE RANKINGS Iowa jumped up eight spots in the recent polls, breaking the top-70 for the first time this season. The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 66 by the ITA.
SPRING BREAK TRIP RECAP The Hawkeyes returned home after a three-match road trip through Florida over spring break. Iowa started with a 5-2 victory over Central Florida in Orlando. The following day, South Florida handed Iowa a 7-0 setback. The Hawkeyes responded convincingly, capping the trip with a victory over Florida Atlantic, 6-1. Junior Marc Bruche led Iowa with two singles victories and two doubles victories. Bruche now has seven singles wins and eight doubles wins on the season. Will Vasos also had two victories in both singles and doubles. Vasos leads the team with eight singles victories and eight doubles wins. Austen Kauss had two singles wins, and Nikita Zotov and Garret Dunn teamed up to earn two 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 333-336 (.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 “Ohio State is ranked fifth, so that speaks for itself, and Penn State is a solid team that has played a tough schedule. We expect a strong challenge. Having said that, I feel like we are playing our best tennis of the year.”
UP NEXT The Hawkeyes will hit the road for Big Ten matches in consecutive days. Iowa will challenge Purdue on April 2nd at 12 p.m. The following day Iowa play at Indiana on April 3rd at 12 p.m.