April 9, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Once the lights took effect over the Klotz Tennis Courts Wednesday evening, the intensity level was taken up a notch between the University of Iowa men's tennis team and the No. 62 Nebraska Huskers. Down to the sixth and decisive match of the evening, Nebraska emerged victorious to claim a narrow, 4-3, victory over the Hawkeyes.
"I thought our effort was very good in singles tonight. We are a little snake bitten in terms of these close 4-3 decisions in Big Ten matches," said UI head coach Steve Houghton. "The scores don't reflect how far we have come as team. We are playing very good tennis. I am proud of how hard they fight and how much they have improved over the year."
The match opened up in favor of the Huskers, as they claimed the doubles point, sweeping all three matches. It was close throughout all doubles competition, as Iowa's No. 1 and No. 2 doubles team each fell by 8-6 decisions. Seniors Joey White and Chase Tomlins forced a tiebreaker at the No. 3 position, but fell to Blackwell and Elsass of Nebraska, 7-1, in the tiebreaker.
Iowa struck first and evened up the match with a quick straight sets victory by senior Brian Alden in the No. 2 position. Facing Marc Herrmann, Alden got the Hawkeyes going with a 7-5, 6-3. Nebraska regained the lead with a victory at No.1 singles, but the lead didn't last long. Junior Matt Hagan tied up the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles to even the score at 2-2. Beau Treyz of Nebraska claimed a victory at No. 6 to give the Huskers a 3-2 advantage, and squarely in position to claim the match.
But the lights above the Klotz Tennis Courts came on, and with them came a spirited Hawkeye effort. Sophomore Dominic Patrick, playing at the No. 5 position, had dropped his first set by a 6-1 decision before storming back. Patrick took the second set by a 6-3 decision, and after falling behind 4-1 in the third set, Patrick won five consecutive games to walk away with his 14th victory of the season.
With the match tied 3-3, it came down to a battle at No. 3 singles. Juan Estenssoro dropped the first set 6-1, but fought back to win a second set tiebreaker 7-6 (7-3). Estenssoro fought, but ultimately fell in the third and final set of the evening.
"It was coming down the stretch there and Patrick and Estenssoro battled back," said UI assistant coach Ross Wilson. "We needed both of those matches to win and they handled the moment and pressure very well to give us a chance to win."
Iowa has little time to think about todays result, as they turn their attention to the No. 11 Illinois Fighting Illini, who come to town on Friday. First serve is set for 3 p.m. at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
No. 62 Nebraska 4, Iowa 3
No. 1 - Videtich/Zitsch (NEB) def. Alden/Swank (UI): 8-6
No. 2 - Herrmann/Boyer (NEB) def. Dierckx/Hagan (UI): 8-6
No. 3 - Blackwell/Elsass (NEB) def. Tomlins/White (UI): 8-7 (7-1)
No. 1 - Dusty Boyer (NEB) def. Jonas Dierckx (UI): 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 - Brian Alden (UI) def. Marc Herrmann (NEB): 7-5, 6-3
No. 3 - Tom Blackwell (NEB) def. Juan Estenssoro (UI): 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3
No. 4 - Matt Hagan (UI) def. Andrew Dzulynsky (NEB): 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 - Dominic Patrick (UI) def. V. Stavropolous (NEB): 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 - Beauregard Treyz (NEB) def. Michael Swank (UI): 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,1,4,6,5,3)