April 20, 2011
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THIS WEEK The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will return to the comforts of its home courts this weekend to close out the regular season with two Big Ten matches. The No. 66 Hawkeyes (8-10 overall, 2-6 in Big Ten) will host No. 71 Wisconsin (10-11, 4-4) Friday at 3 p.m. (CT), and No. 23 Minnesota (15-4, 6-2) Sunday at noon for Iowa’s Senior Day.
SENIOR STANDOUTS Iowa will have two seniors play their final match at the HTRC Sunday. Austen Kauss and Nikita Zotov will graduate this May. Kauss is from Overland Park, Kan. He is a three-time letterwinner, two-time academic all-Big Ten, and has recorded 54 career victories. Zotov is from Moscow, Russia. He is a two-time letterwinner, has been ranked as high as 31st nationally in doubles, and has 44 career victories.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT The Badgers are coming off a 6-1 win against Penn State, and earned a national ranking for the first time this season two weeks ago. Wisconsin has one ranked singles player in Marek Michalicka (No.55). The Golden Gophers are third in Big Ten standings. Minnesota has one ranked singles player in Tobias Wernet (No. 100), and one ranked doubles team.
IN THE RANKINGS Iowa is ranked 66th by the ITA. The Hawkeyes have been ranked in 12 of the 14 rankings released by the ITA this year, and have also competed against 12 teams that are currently ranked. The Hawkeyes have upset two ranked foes this season.
LAST TIME OUT Iowa fell on the road to No. 27 Michigan 5-2 last time out. The Hawkeyes won the doubles point, with wins coming from the tandems of Marc Bruche and Will Vasos, and Garret Dunn and Tom Mroziewicz. Senior Austen Kauss earned Iowa’s lone singles win in No. 3 singles to go 2-0 in singles on the weekend.
IOWA NEARLY RALLIES PAST SPARTANS The Hawkeyes nearly rallied past No. 57 Michigan State last Saturday, but suffered a 4-3 setback in East Lansing. Bruche, Vasos and Kauss won singles matches to tie the score at 3-3, but the Spartans won the final match. Bruche and Vasos also earned a No. 1 doubles victory.
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 335-339 (.499), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men’s tennis history.
UP NEXT Iowa will begin the postseason with the Big Ten Tournament on April 28th in Madison, Wis.