March 27, 2011
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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa men’s tennis team won its first Big Ten match of the season this Sunday with a victory against Penn State. The No. 66 Hawkeyes (7-6, 1-2) defeated the Nittany Lions (10-10, 0-3) by a 4-3 count inside the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center and won six of nine overall matches.
Iowa swept through doubles play with three victories and a singles win by sophomore Garret Dunn put the match out of reach, securing the team victory. Iowa pulled above the .500 mark on the season with the victory, and rebounded after a competitive 5-2 loss against No. 5 Ohio State at home Friday.
“This is a good win for us. Penn State is a much better team than their record would indicate. Nine of their ten losses have been to ranked teams now,” said head coach Steve Houghton. “We are glad to be on the board in Big Ten play after losing to two of the top teams in the conference.”
The Hawkeyes swept through Penn State in doubles play to get things started, winning all three matches to take a 1-0 team lead. Iowa has now won the doubles point in six of its past eight matches.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of juniors Marc Bruche and Will Vasos were the first ones done for the Hawkeyes after making quick work of Eddie Bourchier and Russell Bader. Bruche and Vasos jumped out to a 6-1 lead and won the match 8-3 to improve their doubles record to a team-high 8-3.
Dunn and junior Tom Mroziewicz notched the second Iowa win with an 8-5 advantage over Bryan Welnetz and Christopher Hasyn. Dunn and Mroziewicz took a 5-2 lead early, and held on from there. The duo improved their doubles record to 3-2.
Senior Austen Kauss and freshman Jonas Dierckx also provided a win, however, it came in dramatic fashion. The duo fell behind 2-3 and traded points from there, and pulled ahead for the first time with a 6-5 lead. Iowa and Penn State traded points to make it 7-6, and a return slammed home from Kauss put the Hawkeyes on match point. After trading returns, Dierckx sent a shot into the left corner that went untouched to secure an 8-6 win, and the team doubles sweep.
“That doubles point was crucial. We wouldn’t have won the match without that point,” said Houghton. “We have progressively gotten better at doubles, especially when you consider where we were last month with our doubles game.”
Penn State briefly had the score tied at 1-1 following No. 5 singles, but Vasos quickly gave the momentum back to the Black and Gold. Vasos defeated Welnetz in No. 3 singles 6-3, 6-2. Vasos went 2-0 this weekend in singles, winning against Ohio State on Friday, and now has ten singles victories on the season.
Bruche added to Iowa’s advantage in No. 1 singles, beating Penn State’s Eddie Bourchier to make the team score 3-1. Bruche won a close first set 6-4, and sailed in the second set to a 6-0 victory.
The Nittany Lions won No. 2 singles to pull closer, but Dunn closed things out for Iowa. Dunn, in his first year in the singles rotation, beat C.J. Griffin 6-2, 6-4 to earn his eighth singles victory of the season as well as guarantee Iowa the team victory with one match still remaining.
“Marc, Will, and Garret did a great job for us today,” said Houghton. “Those three have been consistent for us this season, too.”
Kauss came up short in a competitive match against Russell Bader, falling 7-6, 6-4 in the final match. Freshman Jonas Dierckx fell in No. 5 singles to Christopher Hasyn 6-1, 6-2.
The Hawkeyes will hit the road this weekend for their next competition. Iowa will be at Purdue on April 2nd, and will also play at Indiana on the 3rd. Both games have noon start times.
No. 66 Iowa 4,Penn State 3
Singles Marc Bruche (IOWA) def. Eddie Bourchier (PSU) 6-4, 6-0 Jason Lee (PSU) def. Nikita Zotov (IOWA) 6-1, 6-3 Will Vasos (IOWA) def. Bryan Welnetz (PSU) 6-3, 6-2 Russell Bader (PSU) def. Austen Kauss (IOWA) 7-6, 6-4 Christopher Hasyn (PSU) def. Jonas Dierckx (IOWA) 6-1, 6-2 Garret Dunn (IOWA) def. C.J. Griffin (PSU) 6-2, 6-4
Doubles Bruche/Vasos (IOWA) def. Bourchier/Bader (PSU) 8-3 Kauss/Dierckx (IOWA) def. Lee/Griffin (PSU) 8-6 Dunn/Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA) def. Welnetz/Hasyn (PSU) 8-5