No. 55 Hawkeyes Set for Trio of Matches This Week - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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No. 55 Hawkeyes Set for Trio of Matches This Week
Iowa travels to No. 65 Drake, hosts North Dakota and Creighton
Matt Hagan and Iowa looks to taken down their in-state foe, Drake, Wednesday night.
Matt Hagan and Iowa looks to taken down their in-state foe, Drake, Wednesday night.
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Feb. 25, 2014

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    THIS WEEK
    The No. 55 University of Iowa men's tennis team returns to the courts for three matches this week. The Hawkeyes head to Des Moines to face in-state foe Drake on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. (CT). Iowa then hosts North Dakota and Creighton in a doubleheader on Friday. Those matches are slated to begin at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (CT), respectively.

    HAWKEYES DROP FIRST MATCH OF THE SEASON
    The Iowa men's tennis team dropped its first match of the season, 4-3, to Western Michigan Saturday afternoon in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Hawkeyes opened the match taking the doubles point behind victories from Dierckx/J. Estenssoro and Hagan/White. In singles play, Iowa picked up points from Dominic Patrick and Michael Swank. Patrick won his match after his opponent was forced to retire due to leg cramps in the third set, while Swank came back to win in three sets after dropping the first set 6-1.

    FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
    Fans can follow along all season to the Hawkyes and receive live match updates on Facebook (facebook.com/IowaMensTennis) or on Twitter (@IowaMensTennis).

    SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
    Drake enters the meet ranked No. 65 in the latest ITA rankings. The Bulldogs are 5-4 on the season, including wins over mutual opponents Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. Last time out they fell to No. 49 Minnesota, 3-4. Drake is led by Alen Salibasic and Ben Lott at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions.

    North Dakota is 2-3 on the year, including back-to-back wins against Idaho State and Nebraska-Omaha after starting the season 0-3. Ryan McGuigan and Jos Oothoudt led North Dakota atop their singles lineup.

    Creighton is 2-1 following a pair of wins over UMKC and Nebraska-Omaha and a 7-0 loss at Nebraska. Billy Paluch and Elliott Baker pace the Bluejays from the No. 1 and 2 singles positions while playing on the top two doubles teams as well.

    HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
    The Hawkeyes are ranked 55th in the most recent ITA national rankings, release Feb. 25. The ranking marks the first time Iowa is ranked in the ITA polls since the conclusion of the 2011 season in which they were ranked No. 69. Iowa is one of 11 Big Ten teams ranked in the polls along with Ohio State (1), Illinois (7), Northwestern (23), Michigan (26), Penn State (34), Minnesota (47), Wisconsin (49), Nebraska (50), Purdue (54), and Indiana (61).

    IOWA DOUBLES STREAKING
    Senior Jonas Dierckx has recorded nine straight doubles victories, while junior Matt Hagan is riding a seven-match winning streak, dating back to last fall. Dierckx and Hagan closed out the fall slate with four straight doubles victories at the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Tournament. Dierckx has started the spring season 5-0 with partner Juan Estenssoro, while Hagan is 3-0 this season playing with Joey White. White is currently on a six-match doubles winning streak this spring, posting a 2-0 record with Nils Hallestrand and a 4-0 mark with Hagan.

    HAWKEYES STILL PERFECT
    Three Hawkeyes remain undefeated in singles action. Dominic Patrick is 6-0 playing in the No. 5 spot, Nils Hallestrand is 2-0 with wins at No. 5 and No. 6, while Joey White is 1-0 with a victory at No. 6. Three different doubles duos are perfect as well. Dierckx and Estenssoro are 5-0 at No. 2, Hagan and White are 3-0 at No. 3, and Hallestrand and White are 3-0 at No. 3.

    FRESHMAN SHINES IN DEBUT
    Making his college dual debut, freshman Nils Hallestrand delivered, posting two singles and two doubles wins to help the Hawkeyes sweep Illinois State and Western Illinois. He won a pair of doubles matches in the No. 3 spot with teammate Joey White, while also picking up victories in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spot. This spring, Hallestrand is 2-0 in singles play and 3-0 in doubles.

    NEW ASSISTANT COACH Ross Wilson
    Ross Wilson is in his first year as an assistant coach after serving the last season 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 in 2011 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.

    HOUGHTON'S THOUGHTS ON DRAKE
    "We have had a long rivalry with Drake. There have been a lot of close matches over the years. They will have a great crowd for the match and it will be tough. They are a very good team and much better than what their ranking shows right now. I expect a knock-down, drug out match with them on Wednesday."

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