Jan. 30, 2012
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s tennis team will have two home matches in three days, facing Arkansas on Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) and DePaul on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT). Both matches will be inside the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex as Iowa is making its home debut.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Arkansas started the season with three straight victories, while No. 66 DePaul has lost two straight matches since starting 4-0. Arkansas has one ranked singles player in No. 109 Manfred Jeske. Iowa fell to both the Razorbacks and the Blue Demons on the road last season.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes went 1-2 at the Tribe Kickoff Tournament, defeating George Washington 4-2 to conclude the tournament. Iowa took three-of-five singles matches against the Colonials and swept doubles. Iowa’s first match of the tournament resulted in a 4-3 loss to William & Mary. Iowa split matches with the Tribe, each winning four a piece. Iowa then fell by the same score to Dartmouth, winning two doubles matches and two singles matches.
DIERCKX ON A ROLL: Sophomore Jonas Dierckx opened the season perfect at the Tribe Kickoff Tournament, going 3-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. Dierckx picked up a marquee victory against Dartmouth’s nationally-ranked Cameron Ghorbani (6-1, 2-6, 6-4). All three of Dierckx’s singles wins came in three sets. Diercks went 2-0 with freshman Matt Hagan at the No. 3 doubles position. Dierckx has won seven of his last eight singles matches and six straight doubles matches dating back to the fall season.
DOUBLES DOMINATION: The Hawkeyes have claimed the doubles point in all three matches this season. Junior Garret Dunn and sophomore Michael Swank went 2-0 in No. 1 doubles to lead Iowa. Swank was making his dual varsity debut. Dierckx and Hagan also went 2-0 in the No. 3 position. In No. 2 doubles, seniors Tom Mroziewicz and Will Vasos provided Iowa with one victory. Iowa is 5-1 on the season in doubles.
HEAD COACH Steve Houghton: Steve Houghton, the dean of Big Ten tennis coaches, is in his 31st year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has compiled a career record of 332-343 (.493), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men’s tennis history. Houghton recorded his 300th win at Indiana State Feb. 6, 2009. He became the winningest coach in Iowa tennis history in 1992 and is a member of the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame. While playing at Iowa, Houghton had a career winning percentage of .727 (40-15), second best in Iowa history.
UP NEXT: Iowa travels to Illinois State on Feb. 18th and at Western Michigan on Feb. 19th.