March 28, 2012
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis teams has two road Big Ten matches this week. The Hawkeyes will face Penn State at 4:30 p.m. (CT) Friday at the Sarni Tennis Center, and second-ranked Ohio State at 11 a.m. (CT) Sunday at the Varsity Tennis Courts.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Both Iowa and the Nittany Lions (10-6, 0-3) will be seeking their first Big Ten wins this season. Penn State is coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 65 Purdue. Ohio State (20-2, 3-0) has won 82 consecutive Big Ten matches. The Buckeyes have five ranked singles players and three ranked doubles teams.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes fell to No. 53 Northwestern at home, 5-2. Iowa won two singles matches against Northwestern. Freshman Matt Hagan won No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-3. Senior Tom Mroziewicz won No. 5 singles, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
HAGAN SETTING FRESHMAN MARKS: Hagan became the first freshman to win a Big Ten No. 1 singles match for Iowa since Tyler Cleveland in 1998.
DUNN LEADING TEAM: Junior Garret Dunn has led the Hawkeyes in both singles and doubles this season. The Tempe, Ariz., native leads the team in singles wins with six, and is tied for the team lead in doubles with five wins.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Seven of Iowa’s 13 opponents were nationally ranked at the time of the match, and six of Iowa’s final nine matches will be against ranked foes.
NEWCOMERS TO LINEUP: Four Hawkeyes have made the first dual singles appearance of their collegiate careers this season. Junior Connor Gilmore competed in No. 5 and No. 6 singles at the Rice Invitational. Freshman Andres Estenssoro played No. 6 singles against Illinois. Sophomore Joey White played No. 6 singles against Illinois State. Sophomore Michael Swank competed at No. 6 singles against Western Michigan. 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 332-353 (.485), 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:The Hawkeyes return to the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on to host No. 70 Nebraska on April 4, and No. 23 Indiana on April 6. Both matches are set to begin at 2 p.m. (CT).