IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team hosted and defeated Utah, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.
The Hawkeyes captured the doubles point for the sixth time in seven matches this season to grab an early 1-0 advantage. Kareem Allaf and Jonas Larsen dominated their competition, recording another convincing win on court one, 6-3. Oliver Okonkwo and Will Davies followed suit by defeating Utah’s No. 2 duo, 6-3.
Iowa won four of the six singles matches to record the team victory. The Hawkeyes dropped the first two singles matches on courts one and six, but won the remaining matches. Davis won his match in straight sets over Randy Cory on court five (7-6, 6-2). Okonkwo finished shortly thereafter with a third set battle on court four, in which he ultimately prevailed over Russell Benkaim (3-6, 6-4, 6-1). Both Davies and Okonkwo have recorded six singles wins this spring to lead the team.
Tyler sealed the win for the home team in a third set comeback at No. 3 (3-6, 6-4, 6-1) to register Iowa’s sixth victory. Larsen added another point for the Hawkeyes in a third set tiebreaker over David Micevski at No. 2 (6-4, 4-6, 7-6).
The Hawkeyes have played a strong schedule so far into their season. Iowa (6-1) has already competed against five teams who have made the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including defeating three conference champions.
Quoting Assistant Coach Joey Manilla
“Today was awesome for the team. A lot of guys stepped up and were brave in big moments. That’s what it takes to beat a team like Utah. The Utes came here and played well, yesterday beating Miami, so we knew they were going to be really good. We came out with a lot of energy in doubles and that paid off quickly. We carried it into singles, too. We split the first sets with them and then when it really mattered, our guys stayed together and played well.”
The Hawkeyes return to action on Friday, hosting a doubleheader starting with UMKC at noon (CT), followed by Omaha at 5 p.m. (CT) at the HTRC in Iowa City. Admission is free.
Iowa 5, Utah 2
Feb. 10, 2019 | 11 a.m. | Iowa City, Iowa | HTRC
1. Dan Little (Utah) def. #89 Kareem Allaf (UI): 6-1, 6-3
2. Jonas Larsen (UI) def. David Micevski (Utah): 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5)
3. Joe Tyler (UI) def. Slava Shainyan (Utah): 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
4. Oliver Okonkwo (UI) def. Russell Benkaim (Utah): 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
5. Will Davies (UI) def. Randy Cory (Utah): 7-6(5), 6-2
6. Mathias Gavelin (Utah) Piotr Smietana (UI): 6-4, 6-1
1. Allaf/Larsen (UI) def. Cory/Benkime(Utah): 6-3
2. Okonkwo/Davies (UI) def. Shainyan/Micevski (Utah): 6-3
3. Smietana/Tyler (UI) vs. Little/Hankuliyev (Utah): 5-5, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,6,5,4,3,2)