Hawkeyes Down Wildcats, 4-2

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team came back to beat Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament, 4-2, Thursday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.
The Hawkeyes picked up the doubles point for the 22nd time this year. Sophomore Kareem Allaf and junior Jonas Larsen defeated the No. 1 pair from Northwestern with ease, 6-1, registering their fifth straight win. Freshmen Will Davies and Piotr Smietana dropped their match at No. 2 doubles against Brookes/Seidman, 6-4. In a huge comeback, senior Jake Jacoby and freshman Joe Tyler‘s match on court three was one to remember. The Hawkeye duo trailed 5-1 and battled all the way back for a 7-5 victory to clinch the point for Iowa.
Northwestern jumped out to a 2-1 lead in singles action, winning on courts two and three. Larsen picked up the first singles win for the Hawkeyes bouncing Northwestern’s Antonioni Fasano in three sets.
Senior Josh Silverstein stood up to the challenge, knocking off the Wildcats’ only nationally ranked player, No. 124 Dominik Stary (2-6, 6-1, 7-6). Silverstein improved to 9-1 in three-set matches this season.
“Josh is the type of player that’s going to keep the ball in play and he’s in really good shape,” said Mellecker Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ross Wilson. “His weapon is breaking the other guy down mentally and to make his opponent tired. When they get to the third set, Josh is able to come out on top like he has all year.”
Allaf clinched the match for the Black and Gold in a third set comeback to improve his record to a perfect 7-0 on court four against Big Ten opponents this season. The victory was also Allaf’s ninth straight since April 1. Davies was also in a third set when his match was suspended.
Iowa will host the Big Ten regular season champion Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals at the HTRC on Friday at 10 a.m. (CT). Admission is free to the public.
“I felt our guys came out today a little nervous and got down early, but we were able to battle back in doubles and grab the point. Same thing happened in a couple of singles matches; it reinforces that hanging around in a match can lead to a momentum swing so you can eventually win. We’ve talked about it all year, how we are going to be in these tight matches so you got to have control over your emotions and compete until the end.”
Iowa 4, Northwestern 2
April 26, 2018 | 10 a.m. (CT) | Iowa City, Iowa | HTRC
1. Josh Silverstein (UI) def. #124 Dominik Stary (NW): 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(3)
2. Nick Brookes (NW) def. Piotr Smietana (UI): 6-2, 7-5 
3. Ben Vandixhorn (NW) def. Joe Tyler (UI): 6-4, 6-2
4. Kareem Allaf (UI): def. Jason Seidman (NW): 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2
5. Jonas Larsen (UI) def. Antonioni Fasano(NW): 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
6. Will Davies (UI) vs. Chris Ephron (NW): 6-7(2), 7-5, 2-2
1. Allaf/Larsen (UI) def. Vandixhorn/Stary (NW): 6-1
2. Brookes/Seidman (NW) def. Smietana/Davies (UI): 6-4
3. Tyler/Jacoby (UI) vs. Fasano/Ephron (NW): 7-5
Match Notes:
Iowa: 16-14
Northwestern: 9-17
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,2,5,1,4)