Jan. 25, 2012
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team opens the 2012 spring season with the Tribe Kickoff Tournament Saturday and Sunday in Williamsburg, Va. The Hawkeyes will meet the host William & Mary on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (CT) and Dartmouth at 2 p.m. (CT). Iowa will face George Washington on Sunday at 9 a.m. (CT). All matches will be played under postseason rules at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The Hawkeyes will meet three ranked singles opponents at the Tribe Kickoff Tournament; No. 34 Jamie Whiteford (GW), No. 65 Xander Centenari (Dartmouth) and No. 82 Cameron Ghorbani (Dartmouth). No team in the field is currently ranked. William & Mary is 2-2 on the season while Dartmouth and George Washington will be playing their season openers.
FALL RECAP: The Hawkeyes competed in seven tournaments last fall and had six flight titles. Iowa had a winning record in singles, going 58-54 to finish a strong fall campaign. The Hawkeyes went 23-26 in doubles. Iowa finished the fall season with two great performances at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Freshman Matt Hagan and sophomore Jonas Dierckx won the Flight B doubles title, while Dierckx reached the singles main draw semifinals and upset the top-seeded player in the field.
TRIO OF SENIORS LOOK TO LEAD IOWA: Iowa’s Will Vasos, Tom Mroziewicz and Christopher Speer will be looking to provide Iowa with strong leadership and solid play on the court this season. The Hawkeyes are led by Vasos, who reached the qualifying bracket of the ITA All-American and reached the doubles finals of the HEB-Baylor Invitational in the fall. Vasos has 123 career victories. Mroziewicz made his debut in the varsity lineup last spring, competing at the No. 5 and 6 positions. Speer won 10 straight singles matches in the fall and won two singles flight titles. Speer is recovering from a hand injury.
HAGAN EARNS PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOR: Freshman Matt Hagan was named USTA Missouri Valley Male Player of the Year following the fall season. The Omaha, Neb., native went 9-2 in doubles and posted a 5-1 mark in singles.
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 recorded his 300th win at Indiana State Feb. 6, 2009. He became the winningest coach in Iowa tennis history in 1992 and is a member of the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame. While playing at Iowa, Houghton had a career winning percentage of .727 (40-15), second best in Iowa history.
UP NEXT: Iowa returns to Iowa City for its home opener at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Feb. 3rd. Iowa will face Arkansas at 2 p.m. (CT).