April 3, 2014
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The University of Iowa men’s tennis team returns home from six consecutive road matches to begin a stretch of five straight contests in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes will host two conference foes this weekend as they face No. 33 Purdue on Friday and No. 69 Indiana on Sunday. The match against the Boilermakers will begin at 2 p.m. (CT), while first serve against the Hoosiers is set for noon. Both matches will take place at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and are free to the public.
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HAWKEYES FALL TO TWO CONFERENCE FOES
The Hawkeyes wrapped up their six-match road trip dropping two conference contests to No. 46 Michigan and Michigan State. In each match the Hawkeyes found themselves in a hole after losing the doubles point. In singles action against the Wolverines, redshirt senior Brian Alden picked up a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (7-3) victory at the No. 2 spot, while junior Matt Hagan secured a 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (12-10) win at No. 5.
Sophomore Dominic Patrick and senior Michael Swank carried the Hawkeyes against Michigan State. Patrick, playing in the No. 4 spot, picked up a straight sets victory, 7-5, 6-3. Swank followed suit in the No. 5 position, winning 7-5, 6-3 as well.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
No. 33 Purdue (11-3, 3-1) has matched its highest-ever ranking after a pair of wins over No. 50 Minnesota and No. 62 Wisconsin. The Boilermakers enter the match riding a four-match winning streak. Offensively, the team is led by Szymon Tatarczyk and Ricky Medinilla in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in singles, while Aaron Dujovne and Diego Acosta pair up at the No. 1 doubles position.
No. 69 Indiana (12-12, 1-4) enters the rankings winners of three of its last four matches, picking up a conference victory over Wisconsin, while falling to Minnesota last weekend. This will be the first time this season that Indiana will be on the road for consecutive matches, as it travels to Lincoln to face Nebraska on Friday before heading to Iowa City. Sven Lalic has spent a majority of the season at the No. 1 spot in singles, while Sam Monette follows at No. 2. Lalic teams up with Dimitrije Tasic at No. 1 doubles to pace the Hoosiers.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Big Ten is one of the toughest conferences in the nation, with 11 teams ranked in ITA polls. Ohio State (1) leads all B1G teams in the rankings and is joined by Illinois (11), Penn State (24), Purdue (33), Northwestern (37), Michigan (43), Minnesota (51), Nebraska (66), Indiana (69), Wisconsin (70), and Michigan State (73).
IOWA DOUBLES STREAKING
The Hawkeyes have excelled in doubles play this season. In 11-of-16 matches Iowa has claimed the doubles point. Senior Joey White leads the way with an 11-4 record at the No. 3 spot. Junior Matt Hagan has won six out of his past eight matches, while redshirt senior Brian Alden was won six of his last seven doubles matches. Iowa is 9-2 overall when winning the doubles point, while holding an 0-5 mark when failing to claim the point.
Iowa’s nine wins to start the season tops the team’s win total from a year ago, when the Hawkeyes finished 7-17. Senior Jonas Dierckx and sophomore Dominic Patrick are leading the attack in singles action. Dierckx (10-6) has paced the team from the top of the lineup, while Patrick (11-4) started the season winning 10 of his first 11 matches.
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 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 5-2 in singles play and 5-1 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 ON RETURNING HOME
“We have been traveling for the past month so it will be great to return home. We have played well at home and it is an advantage to play in front of our fans. Guys are road weary with all of the travel it will boost our chances. Purdue and Indiana are on par with Michigan and Michigan State. We played close matches against the Michigan schools so from a confidence standpoint our guys believe that they can win against good, solid teams.”