Sept. 14, 2011
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men's tennis team opens the fall season Sept. 16-18 at the Purdue Invitational. Iowa will face competition from Purdue, Arkansas, DePaul, and Western Michigan among others at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind.
SEASON RECAP: Iowa finished the regular season with an 8-12 overall record and a 2-8 mark in Big Ten play. Iowa fell 4-2 to Purdue in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes won three straight matches early in the season, and also won two-of-three matches on their spring break trip. Iowa won back-to-back conference matches with wins over Penn State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes were ranked as high as 57th by the ITA and had two wins over ranked foes.
LAST YEAR AT PURDUE INVITE: At this tournament last year, Iowa finished 12-10 in singles while senior Marc Bruche won his first three matches in Flight A.
BRUCHE HONORED: Senior Marc Bruche was named second team All-Big Ten last season, after finishing with 12 singles victories and 14 doubles victories - all of which came in the No. 1 spot. Bruche, who is ranked No. 101 in singles by the ITA, has 76 career victories and has played No. 1 singles for the past two seasons for Iowa.
VETERANS BACK IN ACTION: Iowa returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad. The Hawkeyes have four seniors on the roster as well as three juniors to form an experienced group. Seniors Marc Bruche, Will Vasos and Tom Mroziewicz return after very successful campaigns in Big Ten play. Vasos led Iowa with a 14-7 dual singles record and went 13-6 in duals with Marc Bruche in doubles play. Bruche went 11-10 in dual singles play in the No. 1 position. Mroziewicz finished 6-3 in Big Ten doubles play. Mitch Beckert, Garrett Dunn and Connor Gilmore also return for their junior campaigns.
HAWKEYE NEWCOMERS: Iowa signed three prep student-athletes for the 2011-12 season in Matt Hagan, Andres Estenssoro and Alejandro Rios. Hagan was a state champion at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb. Estenssoro is the top-ranked doubles player and second ranked singles player out of Bolivia, while Rios was ranked No. 7 in Bolivia and was a national doubles champion.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Hawkeyes had two seniors garner pre-season accolades as both Marc Bruche and Will Vasos landed on the ITA pre-season rankings list. Bruche was ranked No. 101 in singles. Bruche and Vasos are also ranked No. 41 together at doubles.
HOUGHTON ON FALL OPENER: "We're leaving a couple of our top guys at home. As a result, this will be a challenging tournament, but we have faith in the depth of this team."
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 331-341 (.493), recording the most wins of any coach in Iowa men's tennis history.
NEXT WEEK: Iowa will stay in-state next week, participating at the Drake Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa. The tournament is all day from Sept.23-25.