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TULSA, Oklahoma — Three University of Iowa men’s tennis student-athletes advanced to the Round of 16 singles main draw of the ITA Central Regionals on Friday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa. It is believed to be the first time in program history that three Hawkeyes advanced to the Round of 16 in the same year of the ITA Regionals singles main draw.
It was a clean sweep for the Hawkeyes in singles action Friday afternoon in the Round of 32. Kareem Allaf advanced over Orel Ovil of Wichita State (6-3, 6-1). His win grants him his second straight Round of 16 appearance at the ITA Central Regional. Will Davies defeated Oklahoma State’s Brady Draheim, (7-6, 6-4). Oliver Okonkwo fell behind early, but managed to come back and take the first set against Jordan Bertsch of Oklahoma. Bertsch challenged Okonkwo beating him in the second set but Okonkwo delivered in the last to win (7-6(7), 3-6, 6-2).
One Hawkeye is guaranteed to advance to the quarterfinals as Allaf will square off against teammate Okonkwo on Saturday. This marks the third consecutive year and fifth time in six seasons that Iowa has had at least one student-athlete advance to the Round of 16 of the singles main draw at ITA Regionals.
In addition to the singles success, the Hawkeyes posted victories on the doubles courts. Iowa won all three Round of 32 matches to start the day. Jason Kerst and Piotr Smietana dropped Arkansas’ Bortnick/Paya (8-4). The second-seeded duo of Jonas Larsen and Allaf defeated Clark/Phillips of Drake (8-5). Okonkwo and Davies made it 3-for-3 for the Hawkeyes in the Round of 32, knocking off Minnesota (8-5).
In the Round of 16, Okonkwo and Davies bounced a pair of Razorbacks in a tiebreak thriller (8-7(3)). Okonkwo and Davies will compete in the quarterfinals tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. (CT). Kerst/Smietana (8-6) and Allaf/Larsen (8-4) were defeated by two Oklahoma pairs.
Fans can follow for results and updates from @iowamenstennis on Instagram, @IowaMensTennis on Twitter, and on Tulsa’s website http://streamingtennis.com/Tulsa/.
DOUBLES ROUND OF 32
Kerst/Smietana (UI) def. Bortnick/Paya (AU): 8-4
Okonkwo/Davies (UI) def. Krastanovic/Levin (UM): 8-5
Allaf/Larsen (UI) def. Clark/Phillips (DU): 8-4
DOUBLES ROUND OF 16
Okonkwo/Davies (UI) def. Howard-Tripp/Reco (AU): 8-7(3)
Calvo/Van Emburgh (OU) def. Kerst/Smietana (UI): 8-6
Bertsch/Stewart (OU) def. Allaf/Larsen (UI): 8-4
SINGLES ROUND OF 32
Will Davies (UI) def. Brady Draheim (OSU): 7-6, 6-4
Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Orel Ovil (WSU): 6-3, 6-1
Oliver Okonkwo (UI) def. Jordan Bertsch (OU): 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-2