March 5, 2014
Read the February issue of Hawk Talk Monthly Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/iPad app
Download your Iowa Hawkeye android app
The No. 58 University of Iowa men’s tennis team returns to the courts Friday, hosting Bradley its final home nonconference match of the spring. First serve is set to take place at 3 p.m. (CT) inside the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Admission is free to the public.
HAWKEYES SWEEP NORTH DAKOTA, CREIGHTON
The Iowa men’s tennis team improved to 7-2 with a pair of sweeps over North Dakota and Creighton on Feb. 28. The Hawkeyes opened the doubleheader, cruising past North Dakota. North Dakota, in its second year of having a collegiate team, only traveled five players to Iowa City, allowing the Hawkeyes to win by default at the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles positions. It wasn’t needed as Iowa cruised the doubles point behind wins at No. 1 (8-4) and No. 2 (8-3) doubles. In singles play, it was all Iowa again, with senior and Freshman both recording 6-0, 6-0 victories in the No. 1 and 5 spots.
The Hawkeyes were forced to fight for the doubles point against the Bluejays. It would come down to a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles, with Alden and Swank securing the point with a 7-4 tiebreaker victory. Iowa excelled in singles play again, winning all six matches in straight sets. On the afternoon, Iowa did not lost a single set of singles play.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Bradley heads to Iowa City with a 2-7 record, including a 4-3 loss against Illinois-Chicago last Sunday. After dropping the doubles point, Bradley came out in singles and won matches at the No. 2, 3, and 5 spots. It came down to a match at No. 4 singles, with Illinois-Chicago prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker, 7-4, to claim the victory over the Braves.
Bradley is led at the top of their lineup by Hamish Weerasinghe and Arthur Romanet at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions. On the doubles side, Weerasinghe and Nico Rakitin team up at the No. 1 position.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes are ranked 58th in the most recent ITA national rankings, released on March 4. Iowa is one of 11 Big Ten teams ranked in the polls along with Ohio State (1), Illinois (7), Northwestern (24), Penn State (31), Michigan (39), Minnesota (42), Nebraska (44), Wisconsin (49), Purdue (54), and Indiana (57).
IOWA DOUBLES STREAKING
The Hawkeyes have excelled in doubles play this season. In 8-of-9 maches this season, the Hawkeyes have claimed the doubles points. Senior leads the way with a 7-1 record at the No. 3 spot, having been paired with both junior and freshman . Seniors and have paired up at the No. 2 doubles spot and have recorded a 5-1 record on the spring.
HAWKEYE STARTING STRONG
The Hawkeyes are off to a hot start in 2014, posting a 7-2 record through their first nine matches. The seven wins matches Iowa’s win total from a year ago, when the Hawkeyes finished 7-17. The 7-2 start marks the best start for the program since the spring of 2009 when the team started 8-1.
FRESHMAN SHINES IN DEBUT
Making his college dual debut, freshman 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 , while also picking up victories in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spot. This spring, Hallestrand is 3-0 in singles play and 3-0 in doubles.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH Ross Wilson
Ross Wilson is in his first year as an assistant coach after serving last season 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 in 2011 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.
HOUGHTON’S THOUGHTS ON BRADLEY
“We really want to finish the first segment of our season strong against Bradley. We have done a good job taking care of these sorts of teams so far and want to continue that. The guys need to stay focused on the task and continue to play the way they should play heading into our spring break trip.”