Feb. 14, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team improved to 4-0 on the season Friday night with a 5-2 victory over Northern Illinois. The Hawkeyes won the doubles point, while winning four-of-six singles matches en route to a victory.
“I really liked how the guys performed tonight. It was against a team that has played close matches against some of the top national teams, and we beat them by a bigger margin than those ranked teams,” said UI head coach Steve Houghton. “It was a very nice win, very satisfying, and should give our guys a jolt of confidence moving forward.”
Iowa, who has now won four straight matches to open a season for the first time since 2007, opened doubles play with a victory at the No. 2 spot, as seniors Jonas Dierckx and Juan Estenssoro knocked off Lynch and Zeljkovic 8-4. The Hawkeyes then secured the doubles point with a 8-7 (8-6) win at the No. 3 spot. Junior Matt Hagan and senior Joey White fought off two match points in the tiebreaker to claim the doubles point. The #37 duo of Amir/Lagerlof won at No. 1 doubles, 8-7 (7-4) over seniors Brian Alden and Michael Swank.
In singles play, the Hawkeyes got off to a fast start with straight set victories at the No. 3 and 4 positions by Hagan (6-2, 6-2) and sophomore Dominic Patrick (6-1, 6-2). With the team up 3-1, Dierckx clinched the Hawkeye victory with 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 1 singles. Iowa claimed its final victory of the night at No. 3 singles, with Alden coming back to win 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-6).
The team has a quick turnaround, as they prepare to face #39 Minnesota in the Big Ten opener for each school.
“We will have to continue to improve our game. Minnesota will be a better team than Northern Illinois, but confidence goes a long way,” said Houghton.
The match will take place this Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. (CT). The contest will take place at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and is free to the public.
Iowa 5, Northern Illinois 2
1. Jonas Dierckx (Iowa) def. Axel Lagerlof (NIU): 6-3, 6-4
2. Dor Amir (NIU) def. Juan Estenssoro (Iowa): 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7)
3. Brian Alden (Iowa) def. Frederic Cadieux (NIU): 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-6)
4. Matt Hagan (Iowa) def. Jovan Zeljkovic (NIU): 6-2, 6-4
5. Dominic Patrick (Iowa) def. Matt Lynch (NIU): 6-1, 6-2
6. Simon Formont (NIU) def. Michael Swank (Iowa): 6-1, 6-4
1. #37 Amir/Lagerlof (NIU) def. Alden/Swank (Iowa): 8-7 (7-4)
2. Dierckx/J. Estenssoro (Iowa) def. Lynch/Zeljkovic (NIU): 8-4
3. Hagan/White (Iowa) def. Cadieux/Formont (NIU): 8-7 (8-6)