March 23, 2012
IOWA CITY – University of Iowa freshman men’s tennis player Matt Hagan became the first Iowa freshman to win a Big Ten match at No. 1 singles since Tyler Cleveland in 1998 on Friday against No. 53 Northwestern. The Wildcats (8-6, 1-1) defeated Iowa (1-12, 0-2), 5-2, as Iowa played on the Klotz Outdoor Tennis Courts for the first time this season.
“We’re starting to look better,” said head coach Steve Houghton. “We played a good match against a nationally ranked team. I’ve got to believe that this will convert to wins in the future.”
Hagan, who was named the Missouri Valley Male Player of the Year after the fall season, defeated Northwestern’s Josh Graves, 6-4, 6-3. Hagan has played at the top singles position the past seven matches.
“It felt good to get the win, and I finally felt like I was playing at my best throughout the match rather than just one set,” said Hagan, who was a Flight B Big Ten doubles champion at the fall conference tournament.
Senior Tom Mroziewicz also pulled through for the Hawkeyes, rallying to win the No. 5 singles match against Alex Pasareanu. Mroziewicz dropped the first set 4-6, but claimed the second handily, 6-2. Mroziewicz claimed the match with a 6-4 third set victory, winning his first Big Ten singles match of the season.
Junior Connor Gilmore rallied in his No. 6 singles match against Chris Jackman, forcing the match to go three sets. Gilmore won the second set 6-2 after falling in the opener 4-6. Jackman prevailed in the third set, however, winning 6-1.
The Wildcats also won the No. 2, 3, and 4 singles matches in straight sets.
The Hawkeyes had leads in two doubles matches early, but Northwestern would rally to sweep doubles and jump out to a 1-0 lead. Tobias Reitz and Sidarth Balaji defeated Iowa’s Will Vasos and Chase Tomlins, 8-2, in No. 3 singles. Iowa’s Garret Dunn and Michael Swank took a 5-4 lead in No. 1 doubles against Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf, but the Wildcat tandem would rally to win, 8-6. Jonas Dierckx and Tom Mroziewicz possessed an 8-7 advantage against Raleigh Smith and Alex Pasareanu, but the Wildcats won in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (10-8).
Iowa will make a road trip to Penn State and Ohio State for its next outings. The Hawkeyes will meet the Nittany Lions on March 30 at 4:30 p.m. Iowa will face the Buckeyes on April 1 at 11 a.m.
No. 53 Northwestern 5, Iowa 2
No. 1 – Matt Hagan (IOWA) def. Josh Graves 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 – Spencer Wolf (NW) def. Jonas Dierckx (IOWA) 6-0, 6-3
No. 3 – Raleigh Smith (NW) def. Garret Dunn (IOWA) 6-3, 7-5
No. 4 – Sidarth Balaji (NW) def. Will Vasos (IOWA) 7-5, 6-4
No. 5 – Tom Mroziewicz (IOWA) def. Alex Pasareanu (NW) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 6 – Chris Jackman (NW) def. Connor Gilmore (IOWA) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1
No. 1 – Graves/Wolf (NW) def. Dunn/Michael Swank (IOWA) 8-6
No. 2 – Smith/Pasareanu (NW) def. Dierckx/Mroziewicz (IOWA) 9-8 (10-8)
No. 3 – Tobias Reitz/Balaji (NW) def. Vasos/Tomlins (IOWA) 8-2