Hawk Talk Monthly — October 2018 | Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store – https://hawkeyefanshop.com/?utm_source=HawkeyeSports&utm_medium=HawkeyeSports&utm_campaign=HawkeyeSports
TULSA, Oklahoma — University of Iowa men’s tennis junior Kareem Allaf won two singles matches on Sunday to capture the ITA Central Regionals singles championship at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
Allaf is the third Hawkeye to accomplish the feat in school history. In 1994, Bryan Crowley won an ITA championship, while Tyler Cleveland won the Midwest Regional title 19 years ago in 1999. Allaf is the only player in program history to win the Central Regional title.
“This is a great win for Kareem personally and our program as a whole because he has improved so much over his time at Iowa,” said Mellecker Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ross Wilson. “As we continue to do the right things day in and day out, we are beginning to get the long term results.
“The team was very proud of Kareem today and Kareem was proud of the team. It takes a group effort to get this win. While Kareem took the singles title, it was the team culture that allowed him to reach this level.”
Allaf started the day with a three-set win over Murkel Dellien of Wichita State in the semifinals (7-6(3), 1-6, 6-2). The Hawkeye junior then beat the 39th-ranked player in the country and third seeded, Majed Kilani of Tulsa, on his home court. With each player having won a set, the match came down to the third and deciding set. Allaf started strong and ultimately won 6-3 to claim the match and individual championship.
“Kareem dug deep after the second set and found another level of energy,” Wilson said. “After six matches packed into four days, it was incredible to find that within.”
Allaf accomplished many feats during his championship run, including winning six straight matches and knocking off two ranked opponents in four days of action. More importantly, by winning the regional title, Allaf earned an invitation to the ITA Oracle National Fall Championships, Nov. 7-11, in Sunrise, Arizona.
“Kareem impressed us with how much poise he showed throughout this tournament,” said Wilson. “It is a busy weekend with many high intensity moments and he was very mentally tough.”
In consolation action, Piotr Smietana and Jason Kerst bested Drake opponents. Joe Tyler and Nikita Snezhko both dropped their respective matches.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Friday at the Big Ten Indoor Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Fans can follow for results and updates from @iowamenstennis on Instagram, @IowaMensTennis on Twitter.
PATH TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Round of 64: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Marino Alpeza (UM): 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Round of 32: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Orel Ovil (WSU): 6-3, 6-1
Round of 16: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Oliver Okonkwo (UI): 6-2, 6-4
Quarterfinals: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. #45 Stefan Milicevic (UM): 6-3, 7-6(4)
Semifinals: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Murkel Dellien (WSU): 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-2
Championship: Kareem Allaf (UI) def. #39 Majed Kilani (UT): 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
Piotr Smietana (UI) def. Freddie Powell (DU): 6-1, 6-2
Jason Kerst (UI) def. Bayo Phillips (Drake): 6-4, 3-6, 11-9
Orel Ovil (WSU) def. Joe Tyler (UI): 6-2, 4-6, 10-6
Austin Williams (WSU) def. Nikita Snezhko (UI): 7-6(3), 6-1