March 14, 2012
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will compete at the 54th annual Rice Invitational this weekend in Houston, Texas. Iowa will meet No. 63 Tulane on Friday at 9 a.m. (CT), No. 64 Rice on Saturday at 12 p.m. (CT) and No. 34 Memphis on Sunday at 9 a.m. (CT). All matches will be played at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Tulane is 7-4 on the season with three consecutive victories. Tulane’s Idan Mark is ranked No. 123 in singles. Rice holds an 8-5 overall record. Memphis is 10-2 and started the season with seven straight wins. Memphis’ Connor Glennon is ranked No. 91 and David O’Leary is ranked No. 108
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes fell to No. 18 Illinois, 6-1, in Iowa’s last match. Iowa’s lone victory came from junior Garret Dunn, who defeated Bruno Abdelnour in No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-7, 1-0 (10-7).
DUNN LEADING IOWA: Dunn leads the team in total singles wins and win percentage (6-2, .750). The Tempe, Ariz., native is 3-1 in No. 4 singles, 2-0 in No. 5 singles and 1-1 at No. 6 singles. Dunn has won six of his last seven matches.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Four of Iowa’s last six matches have been against ranked opponents. Ten of Iowa’s next 13 opponents are currently nationally ranked by the ITA.
HAGAN PLAYS No. 1 SINGLES: Matt Hagan became the first freshman to play No. 1 singles for Iowa since Tyler Cleveland in 1998. Hagan has played his last three matches at the No. 1 position, facing two ranked opponents.
NEWCOMERS TO LINEUP: Three Hawkeyes have made their first dual singles appearance of their collegiate careers this season. Freshman Andres Estenssoro played No. 6 singles against Illinois, falling in straight sets. Sophomore Joey White played No. 6 singles against Illinois State. 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 332-349 (.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 return to the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on March 23rd, facing No. 44 Northwestern. The match will begin at 1:30 p.m. (CT).