April 29, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, IN - - The University of Iowa men's tennis team defeated Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday, 4-3. The 61st-ranked Hawkeyes, seeded seventh, moved to 13-9 overall with the victory at the Indiana University Tennis Center and advanced to face second-seeded Illinois Friday.
"This was a big win for us," said Head Coach Steve Houghton. "It is very difficult to defeat the same Big Ten team twice in six days and we accomplished that. This win puts us in a position where if we defeat Illinois tomorrow, we improve our chances of advancing to the NCAA Tournament."
The Hawkeyes, 8-6 away from Iowa City and 4-0 at neutral sites, were unable to claim the doubles point. The Boilermakers took two of three matches to take an early 1-0 advantage. Marc Bruche and Nikita Zotov claimed a victory at the No. 1 spot. The duo defeated Slavko Bijelica and Branko Kuzmanovic, 8-6.
Reinoud Haal got things rolling for the Hawkeyes in singles play. The senior downed Eric Ramos, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 4 position. Will Vasos competed at the No. 2 spot for the first time in his career. The sophomore downed Kuzmanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, to give Iowa a 2-1 advantage. Austen Kauss pushed the Hawkeye lead to 3-1 with a win at the No. 6 spot. The junior downed Thomas Wilson 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. Purdue, the No. 10 seed, claimed victories at the No. 5 and the No. 3 positions to tie the match at three. Bruche then clinched the Hawkeye victory with a win over Patrick Rose at the No. 1 spot. The sophomore won, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Iowa has won six straight matches in the series. The Hawkeyes have won 13 matches this season, surpassing their total of 12 from 2009. Iowa also won 13 matches in 2008. The Hawkeyes have recorded five wins over conference opponents this season, the highest total since Iowa defeated five conference opponents in 2008.
The Black and Gold will face No. 2 seed Illinois in the second round Friday. The match is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. (CT) at the Indiana University Tennis Center in Bloomington, IN.
#61 Iowa - 4
Purdue - 3
1. Marc Bruche (IOWA) def. Patrick Rose (PUR) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
2. Will Vasos (IOWA) def. Branko Kuzmanovic (PUR) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Slavko Bijelica (PUR) def. Nikita Zotov (IOWA) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
4. Reinoud Haal (IOWA) def. Eric Ramos (PUR) 6-4, 6-1
5. Paul Foley (PUR) def. Tommy McGeorge (IOWA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
6. Austen Kauss (IOWA) def. Thomas Wilson (PUR) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
1. Marc Bruche/Nikita Zotov (IOWA) def. Slavko Bijelica/Branko Kuzmanovic (PUR) 8-6
2. Paul Foley/Thomas Wilson (PUR) def. Tommy McGeorge/Will Vasos (IOWA) 8-5
3. Eric Ramos/Patrick Rose (PUR) def. Reinoud Haal/Austen Kauss (IOWA) 9-7