Hawkeyes Set to Face Huskies, Gophers

Feb. 12, 2014

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The University of Iowa men’s tennis team hosts a pair of foes this weekend. Iowa faces Northern Illinois Friday at 6 p.m., while opening Big Ten play against Minnesota on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both duals will take place inside the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex (HTRC), and are free to the public.

The Iowa men’s tennis team improved to 3-0 with a 7-0 sweep over UMKC Tuesday afternoon. The Hawkeyes have now swept all three oponents they have faced this season. Seniors Brian Alden and Michael Swank dominated at the No. 1 doubles spot, winning 6-1. In singles play, junior Matt Hagan, making his first appearnace of the spring after working back from injury, posted a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the No. 4 singles spot.

Northern Illinois enters the meet 6-2 overall, with both losses coming to ranked foes. Their last time out the Huskies dropped a 5-2 decision at No. 57 Indiana. Alex Lagerlof won at No. 1 singles, defeating Sven Lalic, the No.. 80 ranked player. No. 39 Minnesota is 4-4 on the season, dropping a pair of 4-3 decisions to Tulsa and Harvard last weekend. Ruben Weber of Minnesota knocked off No. 81 Shaun Chaudhuri of Harvard in straight sets in the No. 2 singles spot.

Senior Jonas Dierckx has recorded six straigtht doubles victories, dating back to last fall. Dierckx closed out the fall slate with four straight doubles victories at the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Tournament playing alonside Matt Hagan. The Belgium native has started the spring season 2-0 with partner Juan Estenssoro.

Making his college dual debut, freshman Nils Hallestrand delivered, posting two singles and two doubles wins to help the Hawkeyes sweep Illinois State and Western Illinois. He won a pair of doubles matches in the No. 3 spot with teammate Joey White, while also picking up victories in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spot. This spring, Hallestrand is 2-0 in singles play and 3-0 in doubles.

Ross Wilson joins the program as an assistant coach after serving the past year as an assistant coach at San Diego. Wilson was named the 2012 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year and ITA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year this past year after he helped guide San Diego to a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Wilson was a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time ITA national doubles champion during his playing days at Ohio State.

HEAD COACH Steve Houghton
Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 33rd year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 345-381 (.475), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men’s tennis history.

“Northern Illinois is a very good team and Minnesota has been one of the better teams in the Big Ten the past several years. I was happy with the way we played against UMKC but know that we have some challenges ahead.”