March 21, 2014
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The No. 68 University of Iowa men’s tennis team opens its main portion of conference play Sunday, traveling to Madison, Wis., to take on the No. 58 Wisconsin Badgers. First serve is set to take place at noon (CT) at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Sunday will be the fourth game of six consecutive matches away from home.
HAWKEYES WRAP UP SPRING BREAK TRIP
The Hawkeyes concluded their spring break trip Tuesday, falling to Furman by a 4-3 final. Over the course of three matches against the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Furman, Iowa compiled a 1-2 record. Iowa’s lone win was a 7-0 sweep over the Citadel. Senior Jonas Dierckx was perfect 3-0 in singles for the Hawkeyes, while the duo of Brian Alden and Michael Swank posted a 2-1 record at the No. 1 doubles spot.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Fans can follow along all season to the Hawkeyes and receive live match updates on Facebook (facebook.com/IowaMensTennis) or on Twitter (@IowaMensTennis).
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
No. 58 Wisconsin enters the match with an 8-6 record, and a 0-1 mark in conference play. The Badgers have built a tough nonconference schedule, having already faced nine ranked opponents and holding a 3-6 record against those ranked foes.
The Badgers and Hawkeyes have faced four common opponents in 2014, Minnesota, Bradley, Drake, and Western Illinois. Wisconsin is 2-2 against those teams, with victories coming against Bradley (6-0) and Western Illinois (5-0), while falling to Drake (4-0) and Minnesota (5-2). Iowa is 3-1 against the same opponents, having knocked off Western Illinois (7-0), Bradley (6-1), and Minnesota (4-3) in the conference opener, while falling to Drake (7-0).
Wisconsin is led by Oskar Wikberg and Alexander Kokorev at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions, while Wikberg pairs with Jakhongir Jalalov to make up the No. 1 doubles team.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes are ranked 68th in the most recent ITA national rankings, released on March 11. Iowa is one of 11 Big Ten teams ranked in the polls along with Ohio State (1), Illinois (9), Northwestern (25), Penn State (27), Purdue (40), Michigan (44), Minnesota (50), Wisconsin (58), Nebraska (60), and Indiana (70).
IOWA DOUBLES STREAKING
The Hawkeyes have excelled in doubles play this season. In 10-of-13 matches this season, the Hawkeyes have claimed the doubles point. Senior Joey White leads the way with an 8-1 record at the No. 3 spot, having been paired with both junior Matt Hagan and freshman Nils Hallestrand. Iowa is 9-3 overall when winning the doubles point, while holding an 0-3 mark when failing to claim the point.
HAWKEYE STARTING STRONG
The Hawkeyes are off to a hot start in 2014, posting a 9-4 record through their first 13 matches. The nine wins tops Iowa’s win total from a year ago, when the Hawkeyes finished 7-17. The 9-4 start marks the best start for the program since the spring of 2009 when the team also started 9-4.
Iowa has been stellar at home this season, posting a perfect 8-0 record in matches played at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. The Hawkeyes are 1-0 against Big Ten teams at home, and 1-0 against ranked teams played in Iowa City.
FRESHMAN SHINES IN DEBUT
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 5 -1 in singles play and 4-1 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’STHOUGHTS ON WISCONSIN
“We are really starting over right now and getting into Big Ten play. I reminded our guys that we have a 1-0 record so our guys will be fired up for the match. Wisconsin is a team that we can beat if we play the way we can play.”