IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team registered two wins Saturday afternoon in its season opener. The Hawkeyes beat reigning MAC champions Western Michigan (6-1) and last year’s Big East champions Marquette (7-0).
The Hawkeyes avenged last year’s loss to Western Michigan, bouncing the Broncos, 6-1. Iowa took two out of the three doubles matches. Kareem Allaf and Jonas Larsen took care of business winning on court one (6-2). Oliver Okonkwo and Will Davies followed suit with a thunderous, 6-4, comeback, winning five straight points before clinching the point for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes won five of the six singles matches, three of which in straight sets. Piotr Smietana dropped Matej Svjetlicic, 6-3, 6-0, on court five. Davies won on court four, 6-3, 6-3. Okonkwo battled back in the third set to clinch the dual, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The Hawkeyes added two more points with three-set wins by Joe Tyler and Allaf.
The Hawkeyes continued their winning ways in the nightcap winning two out of the three doubles matches. Tyler and Smietana topped Marquette’s No. 3 squad, 6-3. At No. 1 doubles, Allaf and Larsen won their second match of the day, 6-3, over Verdu and Heredia.
In singles, Davies and Smietana simultaneously earned Iowa two points, winning in straight sets to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 advantage over the Golden Eagles. Larsen clinched the match for the Hawkeyes battling back down three games in the second set to win 6-3, 7-5. Iowa didn’t let off the gas as they ended up taking every match the rest of the way winning the dual in a shutout, 7-0.
Quoting Mellecker Family Head Coach Ross Wilson
“It was a good day. We were able to battle back and win a few of those matches to take the doubles points. Both matches were similar in that we won the doubles, then we won two singles matches easily. Overall, I thought the guys hung in there when they had difficult moments and were able to overcome some deficits. It was just nice to come away with wins today and play a lot of matches.”
The Hawkeyes host another doubleheader on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. (CT) against North Dakota followed by East Tennessee State at 6 p.m. (CT). Admission is free to the public.
Iowa 6, Western Michigan 1
Jan. 19, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. | Iowa City, Iowa | HTRC
1. #73 Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Jannik Opitz (WMU): 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
2. Joe Tyler (UI) def. Lenhard Haupt (WMU): 7-6 (5), 6-3
3. Oliver Okonkwo (UI) def. Jack Randall (WMU): 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
4. Will Davies (UI) def. Peter Kuszynski (WMU): 6-3, 6-3
5. Piotr Smietana (UI) def. Matej Svjetlicic (WMU): 6-3, 6-0
6. Kennosuke Nouchi (WMU) def. Morgan Lohan (UI): 6-4, 6-3
1. Allaf/Larsen (UI) def. #53 Randall/Kuszynski (WMU): 6-3
2. Okonkwo/Davies (UI) def. Opitz/Haupt (WMU): 6-4
3. Nouchi/Schnobel (WMU) def. Smietana/Tyler (UI): 6-2
Western Michigan 2-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,4,6,3,2,1)
Iowa 7, Marquette 0
Jan. 19, 2019 | 6 p.m. | Iowa City, Iowa | HTRC
1. #73 Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Alvaro Verdu (MU): 6-3, 7-6 (5)
2. Joe Tyler (UI) def. Luis Heredia (MU): 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
3. Jonas Larsen (UI) def. Brett Meyers (MU): 6-3, 7-5
4. Oliver Okonkwo (UI) def. Greg Anderson (MU): 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
5. Will Davies (UI) def. Fran San Andres (MU): 6-3, 6-3
6. Piotr Smietana (UI) def. Brandon Shanklin (MU): 6-3, 6-1
1. Allaf/Larsen (UI) def. Alvaro Verdu/Luis Heredia (MU): 6-3
2. Anderson/San Andres (MU) def. Oliver Okonkwo/Will Davies (UI): 6-3
3. Smietana/Tyler (UI) def. Brett Meyers/Brandon Shanklin (MU): 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,6,3,1,2,4)