Hawkeyes Grab Major Road Win at ITA Kickoff

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LUBBOCK, Texas — University of Iowa men’s tennis junior Josh Silverstein clinched a major road win for the Hawkeyes against Texas Tech, 4-3, at the ITA Kickoff event held on the campus of Texas Tech University.
With the match tied, 3-3, Silverstein battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to send the match into a tiebreak. The left-hander finished with a, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(3), upset win over No. 25 Jolan Cailleau for the Hawkeye triumph and a dog-pile from his teammates.
Iowa, who recorded its third straight victory to start the spring season, began day one of the kickoff strong with 6-4 and 6-3 wins on courts one and three, respectively, to grab the doubles point from the Red Raiders.
In singles, play opened with an early Hawkeye lead as three courts were in Hawkeye favor.
“Before we left campus we talked about how this weekend was going to be completely about how we compete mentally, about how we handle the good things and the bad things,” said UI head coach Ross Wilson.
As the wind picked up, Iowa worked to adjust to playing in the elements for the first time this season. Silverstein and fellow junior Lefteris Theodorou saw first set wins and second set losses while they acclimated themselves.
“When it’s a little more windy, the ball is going to blow around, it’s not going to be where you think it is.
You’ve got to use your feet a little bit more, you have to hit with a little bit more margin for error on your ground strokes and that’s all going to wear on you mentally.”
Redshirt freshman Kareem Allaf was the first singles victory off the court, defeating No. 104 Connor Curry, 7-5, 6-3.
Theodorou finished shortly after in a three-set win over Alex Sendegeya, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
The match came down to two Hawkeyes, junior Jake Jacoby and Silverstein, with an Iowa lead of 3-2.
Earlier, Jacoby had dropped his first set 6-2 but came back to flip the second set score on Carlos DiLaura. The Little Rock, Arkansas, native fell to the Red Raider in the third set, 7-5.
The Hawkeyes return to action tomorrow against No. 20 Mississippi State.
1.       Josh Silverstein (UI) def. No. 25 Jolan Cailleau (TTU): 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(3)
2.       Lefteris Theodorou (UI) def. Alex Sendegeya (TTU): 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
3.       Kareem Allaf (UI) def. No. 104 Connor Curry (TTU): 7-5, 6-3
4.       Bjorn Thomson (TTU) def. Robin Haden (UI): 6-4, 6-2
5.       Ronit Bisht (TTU) def. Jonas Larsen (UI): 6-0, 7-5
6.       Carlos DiLaura (TTU) def. Jake Jacoby (UI): 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
Order of Finish: 5,4,3,2,6,1
1.       Silverstein/Theodorou (UI) def. No. 60 Sendegeya/Thomson (TTU): 6-4
2.       Allaf/Larsen (UI) vs. Curry/DiLaura (TTU): unfinished
3.       Haden/Jacoby (UI) def. Bisht/Hyrkkonen (TTU): 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1