The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will compete in the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff, Friday and Saturday, at the new Ty Tucker Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The Hawkeyes will face 22nd-ranked Virginia on Friday at 1 p.m. (CT) and will challenge either No. 3 Ohio State or Middle Tennessee State on Saturday in the regional consolation (5:30 p.m. CT) or championship (2:30 p.m. CT).
ABOUT THE EVENT:
In all, seven men’s sites serve as hosts, with each site winner advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, where they will be joined by the respective host site school to fill out the eight-team field.
Click the following link for live scoring and a live stream of all matches this weekend in Columbus: ohiostatebuckeyes.com/2021-ita-kickoff-weekend/
Iowa, a veteran squad featuring seven upperclassmen and three freshmen, will be making its third appearance in the premier event in four seasons. The Hawkeyes are 1-3 in ITA Kickoff matches, with its victory coming at Texas Tech (4-3) in 2017.
#22 VIRGINIA BREAKDOWN:
- The Cavaliers were 11-4 before the 2020 season was canceled due to covid.
- Carl Söderlund is ranked 29th nationally, while Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg is ranked 105th. Söderlund and Matthew Lord are ranked 35th in the country in doubles.
- This will be Iowa’s first ever meeting against Virginia.
#3 OHIO STATE BREAKDOWN:
- The Buckeyes were 14-3 before last season was canceled due to covid.
- Canon Kingsley is ranked fifth nationally; John McNally is ranked 11th, while Kyle Seelig is ranked 25th. McNally and Robert Cash are ranked fourth in doubles.
- Iowa is 24-39 all-time against the Buckeyes.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE BREAKDOWN:
- MTSU was 13-5 overall before the 2020 season was canceled due to covid.
- Oskar Michalek is ranked 102nd in the country in singles.
- Iowa is 2-2 all-time against the Blue Raiders. The Hawkeyes last competed against MTSU last season, winning 4-2, in Iowa City.
- Kareem Allaf is ranked a career-best No. 39 in singles, while the doubles team of Oliver Okonkwo and Will Davies are ranked No. 17 nationally. Allaf’s preseason national ranking is believed to be the highest by a Hawkeye.
- Allaf enters his final season with 146 combined wins in singles and doubles, 14 victories shy of the program record set by Tyler Cleveland. Allaf has amassed 85 career singles wins, which ranks second in school history.
- Okonkwo and Davies enter their third season as doubles partners. The duo bounced three ranked opponents last season.