Jan. 29, 2014
The University of Iowa men's tennis team opens its spring season Feb. 1, with a pair of non-conference matches. The Hawkeyes take on Illinois State at 10 a.m. (CT) and follow with a match against Western Illinois, slated to start at 3 p.m. (CT). Both matches will take place inside the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex (HTRC).
LAST TIME OUT
The University of Iowa men's tennis team wrapped up the fall season at the Big Ten Singles/Doubles tournament in West Lafayette, Ind. The team was led by senior Jonas Dierckx and junior Matt Hagan. Both players made a run to the round of 16 in the main draw before eventually dropping out of competition. The two teamed up for doubles play, and after dropping their first match, won four consectutive matches to claim the consoloation doubles title.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Illinois State enters the weekend with a 1-2 record, picking up its first victory of the season last weekend beating Belmont, 5-2. The Redbirds won the first two doubles matches to secure the doubles point, and followed up by winning 4-of-6 singles matches to record their first victory.
Western Illinois heads to Iowa City dropping their lone match of the season, 6-1, to Saint Louis this past weekend. The leathernecks picked up their lone victory in the No. 2 singles spot, with Mitch Granger winning in three sets.
The Hawkeyes feature one new member to their roster. Freshman Nils Hallestrand joined the team from Danderyd, Sweden, after an impressive prep career. The 6-foot-5 Hallestrand was a part of the 2013 national runner-up club team that competed outdoors, while placing in the top 16 at the 2013 U21 indoor nationals. Making his collegiate debut at the Purdue Invite, Hallestrand finished the weekend 2-1 in singles, reaching the Flight C Quarterfinals, to go along with a 2-1 record in doubles with partner Chase Tomlins.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH ROSS WILSON
Ross Wilson joined the program as an assistant coach after serving the past year as an assistant coach at San Diego. Wilson was named the 2012 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year and ITA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year this past year after he helped guide San Diego to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Wilson was a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time ITA national doubles champion during his playing days at Ohio State.
HEAD COACH STEVE HOUGHTON
Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 33rd year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 345-381 (.475), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men's tennis history.
HOUGHTON ON GETTING THE SEASON STARTED
"I think all of the guys are excited about getting the season started, and I am too. I think this group is really determined this year and want to make this a special season."