Sept. 21, 2011
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- =”” li=”” br=”” a=”” video=”” hawkeye=”” free=”” network:=”” ten=”” big=””>24 Hawkeyes to Watch
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will be busy this weekend. Head coach Steve Houghton will take a group to the Drake Invitational while assistant coach Steve Nash takes two players to the Baylor-HEB Invitational.
DRAKE INVITATIONAL: The Drake Invitational is Friday through Sunday in Des Moines at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center. Action begins Friday at 3 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following days. There will be six teams at the event.
BAYLOR-HEB INVITATIONAL: Seniors Marc Bruche and Will Vasos will compete in Waco, Texas, at the 11th annual Baylor-HEB Invite. Action begins at 8 a.m. each day. Sixteen schools are represented in the field, which consists of a 64-player singles draw and a 32-team doubles bracket. Bruche and Vasos are the second highest ranked doubles team in the field at No. 41 nationally.
LAST WEEK: The Hawkeyes opened the fall season at the Purdue Invitational. Iowa fared well, going 15-12 in singles and 7-4 in doubles. In the Flight A singles main draw, sophomore Jonas Dierckx led Iowa with two straight wins. Freshman Matt Hagan won his first two collegiate matches, making it to the Flight B singles round of 16. Hagan and sophomore Chase Tomlins made it to the finals in the Flight B doubles main draw. Senior Christopher Speer won five straight matches after an opening round loss to win the Flight B singles consolation bracket. Speer and sophomore Joey White also won the Flight C doubles main draw.
SPEER MAKES MOST OUT OF FIRST ACTION: Playing in his first collegiate match, senior Christopher Speer provided the Hawkeyes with a big lift. Speer rallied to win the Flight B singles consolation bracket with five straight wins. Speer beat Western Michigan’s Aaron Wong in the finals. In the Flight C doubles main draw, Speer and White won three straight matches to take the crown. The duo defeated Toledo’s Terrence Weigand and Garret Cona 8-1 in the finals. Speer, from Vernon Hills, Ill., currently has the best singles and doubles record on the team.
HEAD COACH Steve Houghton: Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 31st year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 331-341 (.493), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men’s tennis history.
HOUGHTON ON TOURNAMENTS: “This weekend gives us a great opportunity for a variety of guys throughout our lineup to get experience. As for Marc and Will, they have a big chance to show themselves at a highly competitive tournament.”