Kerst Prevails Late, Hawkeyes Beat No. 50 VCU

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | Hawk Talk Monthly — February

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 28 University of Iowa men’s tennis team dropped No. 50 Virginia Commonwealth, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. The Hawkeyes have now rattled off victories in nine of their last 10 matches, won seven of their first eight home matches, and won back-to-back matches against ranked opponents.

With the match tied 3-3, the outcome was on the racquet of Jason Kerst. The Hawkeye senior prevailed in the final minutes of a four-hour match in the third set to upend Timo Zgtaggen (6-3, 6-7, 7-6). Kerst picked up his sixth win of the campaign to give Iowa the edge over VCU and snap its six-match winning streak.

Iowa won the doubles point, winning matches on courts two and three. Joe Tyler/Matt Clegg downed VCU’s No. 3 duo Balazi/Cierny (6-4). Kareem Allaf/Nikita Snezhko clinched the point with a victory over Stable/Torre-Martin (6-2) on court three. Tenth-ranked Will Davies/Oliver Okonkwo’s match (4-4) was suspended due to Iowa winning the point. VCU was never able to get a point break in all three of the doubles matches.

In singles, Davies bounced David Cierny (6-2, 6-4) to record his career-best ninth straight win and team-leading tenth win of the season on court four. Allaf, ranked 61st nationally, extended his seven-match win streak at No. 1, defeating Lleyton Cronje in straight sets (6-2, 6-1).

Quoting Mellecker Family Head Coach Ross Wilson
“Jason played his butt off and kept it together for us at the end of the third set. I’m proud of him for coming through for the team and I know it’s something that’s really important for him. I’m really happy for our guys to get another Top 50 win. It’s kind of what we do, we play a lot 4-3 matches and if we can win more than we lose we are going to find ourselves in a nice spot at the end of the year.”
Up Next
The Hawkeyes will host Nebraska in their Big Ten opener at Noon (CT) on Sunday at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. Admission is free to the public.    
#28 Iowa 4, #50 VCU 3
Feb. 29, 2020 | Noon (CT) | Iowa City, Iowa | Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex

1. #61 Kareem Allaf (UI) def. Lleyton Cronje (VCU): 6-2, 6-1
2. Charles Bertimon (VCU) def. Joe Tyler (UI): 6-2, 6-2
3. Inigo Torre Martin (VCU) def. Oliver Okonkwo (UI): 6-4, 7-6(8)
4. Will Davies (UI) def. David Cierny (VCU): 6-2, 6-4
5. Rayane Stable (VCU) def. Nikita Snezhko (UI): 6-3, 6-4
6. Jason Kerst (UI) def. Timo Zgraggen (VCU): 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(5)

1. #10 Davies/Okonkwo (UI) vs. Bertimon/Cronje (VCU): 4-4, unfinished
2. Allaf/Snezhko (UI) def. Stable/Martin (VCU): 6-2
3. Clegg/Tyler (UI) def. Cierny/Balazi (VCU): 6-4 

 Match Notes:
Iowa: 9-2
VCU: 7-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,1,4,5,3,6)

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