The Iowa men’s tennis team (5-12, 5-10) will face Michigan State (5-13, 5-11) on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Championships, held at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska. The winner of Thursday’s match will face nationally-ranked Ohio State on Friday at 10 a.m. (CT).
FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE:
Fans can follow the action this weekend with live scoring. Click on the live link on the Men’s Tennis Schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
DAVIES/OKONKWO RANKED FOURTH:
The doubles team of Will Davies/Oliver Okonkwo are ranked No. 4 in the country. The duo was ranked as high as second, the highest ranking of any doubles team in program history. Davies/Okonkwo last beat two top 15 teams the weekend of April 9-11, to move up in the rankings. The tandem is a commanding 10-2 this season on court one, including 4-1 against ranked opponents this spring.
ALLAF BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD:
Redshirt senior Kareem Allaf has 164 combined wins in singles and doubles, surpassing the previous program record set by Tyler Cleveland (1998-2001). Allaf has amassed 95 career singles wins and 69 doubles victories, which rank second and third, respectively, in school history.
DAVIES, TYLER CLIMBING WINS CHART:
Will Davies continues to climb the program’s win chart. The senior won his doubles match with Kareem Allaf in Iowa’s last match versus Wisconsin (April 16) to tie the school record set by Will Vasos (71). Davies also has 73 career singles victories, a total that ties Tommy McGeorge for sixth. Joe Tyler has won 108 combined singles and doubles matches, ranking 15th best in program history.
MICHIGAN STATE BREAKDOWN:
• The Spartans are 5-13 overall and 5-11 in conference play. The Spartans enter the postseason having lost their last five matches by a combined 33-2 score. Michigan State’s last victory came over Purdue (5-2) on April 3.
• Nine of Michigan State’s 12 student-athletes hail from inside the Big Ten footprint.
• Iowa is 35-33 all-time against Michigan State. The Spartans edged the Hawkeyes, 4-3, on March 21 in Iowa City. Prior to that defeat, Iowa had won three straight over Michigan State.