April 26, 2005
THIS WEEK -- The Iowa men's tennis team will travel to Champaign, IL, to compete in the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes (10-11, 2-8 in the Big Ten), seeded ninth, will face eighth-seeded Michigan State in the first round Thursday at 10 a.m. The winner of the match will face top-seed Illinois, who is ranked fourth in the nation. Competition will take place at the Atkins Tennis Center. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE -- Michigan State enters the tournament with a 12-12 overall record, going 4-6 in Big Ten competition. Iowa dropped a 6-1 decision to the Spartans April 1 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes hold a 29-22 lead in the series.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION -- Host Illinois is the top seed and defending Big Ten team champion. The Fighting Illini have won the last nine regular season conference titles, and eight of the last nine conference tournament championships. Second-seed Ohio State won the Big Ten tournament title in 2001, and is ranked 24th in the nation. In the event of inclement weather, starting times are subject to change. Once a team reaches four points, the remaining matches are abandoned. All times are Central.
Thursday, April 28
Match 1: #8 Michigan State vs. #9 Iowa -- 10 a.m.
Match 2: #7 Minnesota vs. #10 Wisconsin -- 10 a.m.
Match 3: #6 Penn State vs. #11 Purdue -- 2 p.m.
Friday, April 29
Match 4: #1 Illinois vs. Match 1 winner -- 10 a.m.
Match 5: #4 Indiana vs. #5 Northwestern -- 10 a.m.
Match 6: #2 Ohio State vs. Match 2 winner -- 2 p.m.
Match 7: #3 Michigan vs. Match 3 winner -- 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 30
Match 8: Match 4 winner vs. Match 5 winner -- 10 a.m.
Match 9: Match 6 winner vs. Match 7 winner -- 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 1
Match 10: Match 8 winner vs. Match 9 winner -- Noon
LAST WEEK -- Iowa split in its final duals of the season, defeating Purdue (4-3) and losing to fourth-ranked Illinois (7-0). Picking up singles wins for Iowa were junior Chaitu Malempati, junior Brett Taylor and freshmen J.P. Ritchie and Bart van Monsjou. Ritchie and van Monsjou also picked up a doubles win against the Boilermakers.
QUOTING HOUGHTON -- "We made a lot of improvement this year, and there is no reason why we can't continue that success in the Big Ten Tournament. Without question, all the Big Ten teams will be tough competition. I think this is as strong as I've seen the conference - top to bottom."