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Men’s tennis edges Purdue

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 30, 2010 7:30 AM

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The No. 7-seeded Iowa men’s tennis team defeated No. 10-seeded Purdue in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday in Bloomington, Ind.

The Hawkeyes’ 4-3 victory sets up a meeting with No. 2 Illinois in the quarterfinals today.
Iowa opened the tournament by dropping the doubles point, then took four of the six singles matches.

Senior Reinoud Haal finished first with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Eric Ramos in the No. 4 slot. Sophomore Will Vasos overcame a slow start to defeat Branko Kuzmanovic (4-6, 6-2, 6-3) in his first stint in the No. 2 position this season.

Junior Austen Kauss provided the Hawkeyes with their third point by knocking off Thomas Wilson in straight sets (7-6, 6-2).

Iowa ran into trouble when senior Tommy McGeorge and junior Nikita Zotov fell in three sets. McGeorge lost to Paul Foley (2-6, 6-4, 6-1), and Zotov fell to Slavko Bijelica (4-6, 7-6, 6-2).

Sophomore Marc Bruche picked up the slack in the deciding match, outlasting P.J. Rose in a grueling (6-7, 7-6, 6-3) affair.

Iowa’s next opponent, Illinois, beat the Hawkeyes, 7-0, on April 11.

The Fighting Illini won all nine matches in the meet, but three Hawkeyes — Haal, McGeorge, and Vasos — won their first sets in singles. The trio joined sophomore Tom Mroziewicz to force third sets in their matches.

“I’m a realist, but I think we have a decent chance as well,” Iowa head coach Steve Houghton said.“We’ll have to play really well, but we can do it.”

— by Seth Roberts

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