April 8, 2014
The University of Iowa men's tennis team concludes its home schedule this week with three matches against ranked conference foes. Iowa will host No. 62 Nebraska at 4:30 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday before taking on No. 11 Illinois on Friday at 3 p.m. The Hawkeyes will play their home finale Sunday, squaring off against No. 34 Northwestern at noon. All three matches will take place at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex and are free to the public.
Sunday will mark the final home match for six Hawkeyes. Seniors Brian Alden, Jonas Dierckx, Juan Estenssoro, Michael Swank, Chase Tomlins, and Joey White will be honored at the conclusion of the match.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Fans can follow along all season to the Hawkeyes and receive live match updates on Facebook (facebook.com/IowaMensTennis) or on Twitter (@IowaMensTennis).
Fans wanting to follow along to live stats of all Iowa home matches can do so via the following link (livestats.hawkeyesports.com).
HAWKEYES FALL TO TWO CONFERENCE FOES
The Hawkeyes returned home for the start of a five-match homestand last weekend, dropping a pair of conference matches to No. 33 Purdue and No. 69 Indiana.
Against the Boilermakers, Iowa picked up singles victories from Matt Hagan and and Dominic Patrick. Hagan, playing in the No. 4 spot, defeated Aaron Dujovne in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. Patrick continued his winning ways, downing Diego Acosta at the No. 5 position, 6-4, 6-3.
Two days later against the Hoosiers, the doubles point proved costly in a 4-3 decision. Iowa was up 6-3 in the third and decisive doubles match before Indiana forced the match to a tiebreaker, eventually claiming the point with a 7-3 tiebreaker victory.
The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers split the six singles matches, with Dierckx, Patrick, and Swank all recording victories. Swank recorded the first Hawkeye victory in three sets over Michael Sellitto. Patrick recorded his team-leading 13th victory in three sets over Chris Essick and Dierckx wrapped up the match with a victory at the No. 1 singles position.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Iowa concludes its home slate with three more matches against ranked foes, as Nebraska, Illinois, and Northwestern come to Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes open with Nebraska, who is currently in ninth place in the Big Ten (10-10, 2-4). Most recently, Nebraska fell to No. 33 Purdue, 6-1, Sunday afternoon. The Huskers are paced by Dusty Boyer and Marc Herrmann atop the singles lineup, while Brandon Videtich and Bradford Zitsch make up the top doubles team. This season, the Huskers have picked up conference victories over Indiana and Wisconsin.
The Fighting Illini currently sit fourth in the conference standings with a 16-7 (5-2) record. Their last time out, the Illini defeated Michigan by a 5-2 final to remain unbeaten at home. Illinois features three singles players ranked nationally by the ITA, No. 8 Jared Hiltzik, No. 11 Farris Gosea, and No. 45 Tim Kopinski. The Fighting Illini also feature two doubles teams ranked by the ITA. Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon are fifth, while Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse come in at No. 72.
The Northwestern Wildats (15-9, 3-4) will enter the match ranked fifth in the Big Ten. Northwestern features two players ranked by the ITA in singles action (Raleigh Smith-No. 54 and Sam Shropshire-No. 125), while Mihir Kumar and Raleigh Smith make up the 23rd ranked doubles team. Last time out, the Wildcats shut out IUPUI, 5-0, in their final nonconference match of the season.
Iowa's nine wins to start the season tops the team's win total from a year ago, when the Hawkeyes finished 7-17. Senior Jonas Dierckx and sophomore Dominic Patrick are leading the attack in singles action. Dierckx (11-7) has paced the team from the top of the lineup, while Patrick (13-4) leads the team in victories after starting the season winning 10 of his first 11 matches.
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 5-2 in singles play and 5-1 in doubles.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH Ross Wilson
Ross Wilson is in his first year as an assistant coach after serving 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.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes conclude the regular season with a pair of conference road matches, as they travel to Ohio State and Penn State to take on the top two teams in the Big Ten. Iowa will square off against Ohio State on April 18, and wrap up the season at Penn State on April 20.