Hawkeyes Advance Big Ten-Best at Big Ten Indoor Championships

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ANN ARBOR, Michigan — University of Iowa men’s tennis student-athletes dominated day one of Big Ten Indoor singles and doubles tournament winning a total of 12 matches — eight singles and four doubles. Iowa won a Big Ten-best eight total matches on the opening day a year ago, they did so again today.
Friday morning started with the Hawkeyes sweeping the doubles competition. Oliver Okonkwo and Will Davies decisively defeated Ohio State’s Seelig/Seibert (8-3). Joe Tyler and Piotr Smietana bested Sutter/Sentay of Penn State, (8-4). Jonas Larsen and Nikita Snezhko kept the Hawkeyes’ perfect in doubles play advancing over Michigan State’s Rakic/Harvey (8-3). Junior Jason Kerst was paired with Penn State’s Chris Kuhnle, who outlasted Nebraska’s Gleason/Lozano in a tiebreak (8-7).
Three Hawkeyes won their Round of 64 singles matches, while three others advanced via bye. Kerst blanked Colin Harvey of Michigan State (6-0, 6-0). Smietana followed suit, cruising to victory over Ivan Rakic of Michigan State (6-3, 6-0). Okonkwo bounced Northwestern’s Antonioni Fasono in three sets (6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4). Freshman Nikita Snezhko dropped his match to Indiana’s Pyam Shmadadi (6-4, 6-1).
In the Round of 32, Davies continued his winning ways, bouncing Ben Lieb of Penn State (4-6, 6-1, 6-4). Tyler battled back after dropping the first set to secure his Round of 16 spot by beating Northwestern’s Trice Pickens (4-6, 6-3, 6-3). Larsen picked up another win in a tightly contested match over Christos Antonopoulos of Penn State (3-6, 6-4, 6-4). Okonkwo held serve against Purdue’s Stephan Koenigsfest in straight sets (6-4, 6-4). Smietana became the fifth Hawkeye — a Big Ten-best – to advance to the Round of 16 by dropping Penn State’s Noah Sutter (6-2, 6-1).
“We were really happy with the first day at the Big Ten Tournament,” said assistant coach Joey Manilla. “The team showed up ready to compete as hard they could and the results followed. Our plan is to carry the momentum into tomorrow.”
Fans can follow Saturday’s results and updates from @iowamenstennis on Instagram, @IowaMensTennis on Twitter, and on Michigan’s official website https://bit.ly/2zkSgzo.
Okonkwo/Davies (UI) def. Seelig/Seibert (OSU): 8-3
Tyler/Smietana (UI) def. Sutter/Sentay (PSU): 8-4
Larsen/Snezhko (UI) def. Rakic/Harvery (MSU): 8-3
Kerst/Kuhnle (UI/PSU) def. Gleason/Moreno (NU): 8-7(5)
Jason Kerst (UI) def. Colin Harvey (MSU): 6-0, 6-0
Piotr Smietana (UI) def. Ivan Rakic (MSU): 6-3, 6-0
Oliver Okonkwo (UI): def. Antonioni Fasano (NW): 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4
Pyam Shmadadi (IU) def. Nikita Snezhko (UI): 6-4, 6-1
Will Davies (UI), Jonas Larsen (UI), Joe Tyler (UI): Advance via bye
Will Davies (UI) def. Ben Lieb (PSU): 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Joe Tyler (UI) def. Trice Pickens (NW): 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Jonas Larsen (UI) def. Christos Antonopoulos (PSU): 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Oliver Okonkwo (UI) def. Stephan Koenigsfest (PUR): 6-4, 6-4
Piotr Smietana (UI) def. Noah Sutter (PSU): 6-2, 6-1
Patrick Maloney (UM) def. Jason Kerst (UI): 0-6, 6-0, 6-2

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