Feb. 27, 2012
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will compete against in-state rival Drake on Wednesday before beginning Big Ten play against Illinois on Sunday. The Drake match will begin at 6 p.m. (CT) inside the Roger Knapp Tennis Center in Des Moines. The Illinois match will begin at 2 p.m. (CT) at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: The Bulldogs are ranked 62nd in the country and sport a 9-1 record. Junior Anis Ghorbel is ranked 73rd in singles. Iowa beat Drake 5-2 last year in Iowa City and have won three in a row in the series. Iowa leads the series 26-8. No. 18 Illinois has a 5-3 record this season. The Fighting Illini have two ranked singles players and one ranked doubles tandem. Illinois defeated Iowa 4-3 last season.
LAST TIME OUT: Iowa fell at Illinois State (5-2) on Feb. 18 and at Western Michigan (5-2) on Feb. 19. Senior Will Vasos and sophomore Chase Tomlins won both their matches in No. 3 doubles to lead Iowa in doubles play. Junior Garret Dunn went 2-0 in singles while Tomlins and sophomore Jonas Dierckx each had one singles win.
DUNN DELIVERS: Garret Dunn has won five consecutive singles matches, four of which have come in straight sets. Dunn sports a 5-1 singles record this season. The Tempe, Ariz., native is 2-0 at No. 4 singles, 2-0 at No. 5 singles and 1-1 at No. 6 singles.
HAGAN PLAYS No. 1 SINGLES: Matt Hagan became the first freshman to play No. 1 singles for Iowa since Tyler Cleveland in 1998. Hagan played No. 1 singles against Western Michigan, falling to Nadin Indre, 6-2, 7-6 (9-7).
NEWCOMERS TO LINEUP: Two Hawkeyes made their first dual singles appearance of their collegiate careers last weekend. Sophomore Joey White played No. 6 singles against Illinois State, falling just short as both sets of his match went extra games. Sophomore Michael Swank competed at No. 6 singles against Western Michigan, but fell in three sets. Swank has been a doubles regular all season.
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 332-347 (.489), 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
UP NEXT: Iowa will be at the Rice Invitational from March 16-19 for its spring break trip. The Hawkeyes will meet Tulane, No. 33 Memphis and No. 42 Rice.