The University of Iowa men’s tennis team travels to Lubbock, Texas for the ITA Kick Off this weekend. The Hawkeyes open the event against Texas Tech on Saturday at noon.
ITA KICK OFF:
Iowa will compete in the Kick Off event for the second time in program history. While the Hawkeyes take on the Red Raiders, No. 20 Mississippi State will compete as the two seed against third seeded Florida State. The two winners advance to the following day’s championship match, while the two losing teams will square off in a consolation match.
Since arriving on campus as freshmen, current juniors Jake Jacoby, Josh Silverstein, and Lefteris Theodorou have worked towards the goal of qualifying for the ITA Kick Off event.
“Reaching the tournament means that we’re competing at the level we want to against teams that are routinely in the top 50,” said Jacoby.
The event in Texas is a stepping stone for a team whose ultimate goal is reaching the NCAA tournament.
“It’s a good opportunity to gain momentum and a lot of confidence early in the season,” said Silverstien.
Theodorou added, “the Kick Off puts us in a good position to get ranked wins early in the season, which we need if we’re going to make the NCAA tournament.”
- Senior Robin Haden began his collegiate career at Mississippi State.
- Haden attended the ITA Kick Off in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns while at Mississippi State.
- The Hawkeyes and the Bulldogs could potentially play each other on Sunday.
“I think the Kick Off is going to be fun but I’m focused on the first match against Texas Tech, but if we play Mississippi State it’ll be exciting,” said Haden.
“The Kick Off is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had during my college career because you’re playing against the best teams in the country. I’m glad this team gets to experience it.”
- Head coach Ross Wilson worked as the assistant coach at Univerity of San Diego under current Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi during the 2012-13 season.
- San Diego climbed as high as No. 26 in the ITA rankings and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament while Wilson was on staff.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Fans can follow the Hawkeyes all season long and receive live match updates on Facebook (facebook.com/IowaMensTennis) or on Twitter (@IowaMensTennis). Fans can also get a behind the scene look on Instagram (iowamenstennis).