March 17, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas – The University of Iowa men’s tennis team took an early lead against No. 64 Rice after winning the doubles point, but wound up falling short in the second day of action at the Rice Invitational. The Hawkeyes (1-10) were defeated 4-1 by the Owls (10-5) at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
“We played great doubles today, particularly in the No. 1 and No. 3 matches,” said head coach Steve Houghton. “We improved a little in singles, but still have a lot of work left to do.”
Sophomore Chase Tomlins and senior Will Vasos gave the Hawkeyes an early advantage in doubles, winning the No. 3 doubles match over Leif Berger and Sam Garforth-Bles, 8-6. The match was tied 5-5, but Tomlins and Vasos went on a 3-1 run to win the match. Tomlins and Vasos have a 3-2 doubles record together.
Sophomore Michael Swank and junior Garret Dunn secured the doubles point for Iowa, defeating the Owl’s Christian Saravia and Justin To in extra games at the No. 1 doubles position. Dunn and Swank won the match 9-8 to improve their doubles record to 5-5 this season.
Iowa fell behind in the team score 3-1 after Rice won the No. 6, 1 and 2 singles matches. The remaining three singles matches each went into a third set. Rice’s Jonathan Chang defeated Dunn 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in No. 3 singles to secure a Rice Victory.
Vasos and junior Connor Gilmore also each had their match go to a third set, but the matches would go unfinished under tournament rules as Rice had already secured the win. Vasos took the first set against Michael Nuesslein 7-5 in No. 4 singles, but dropped the second 6-4. Vasos was up by one game in the third set when the match was called. After dropping the first set to Philipp Seifert in No. 5 singles, Gilmore won the second set convincingly 6-2 to force a third. Gilmore was down one game in the third set when the match was called.
The Hawkeyes will conclude their spring break trip Sunday against No. 34 Memphis at 9 a.m. (CT).
No. 64 Rice 4, Iowa 1
No. 1 – Sam Garforth-Bles (R) def. Matt Hagan (IOWA) 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 – Christian Saravia (R) def. Jonas Dierckx (IOWA) 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 – Jonathan Chang (R) def. Garret Dunn (IOWA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
No. 4 – Will Vasos (IOWA) vs. Michael Nuesslein (R) 7-5, 4-6, unfinished
No. 5 – Philipp Seifert (R) vs. Connor Gilmore (IOWA) 6-4, 2-6, 3-2, unfinished
No. 6 – Leif Berger (R) def. Chase Tomlins (IOWA) 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 2, 1, 3.
No. 1 – Swank/Dunn (IOWA) def. Saravia/Justin To (R) 9-8
No. 2 – Nuesslein/Chang (R) vs. Dierckx/Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA) 7-6, unfinished
No. 3 – Tomlins/Vasos (IOWA) def. Berger/Garforth-Bles 8-6
Order of finish: 3, 1.