Hawkeye men's tennis drops three, now 1-11 on year

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa tennis team (1-11) experienced more of the same when it went 0-3 at the Rice Invitational in Houston this weekend.

The Hawkeyes entered the event at 1-8 on the year, and they were searching for some momentum they could carry into Big Ten play. But they were stymied throughout the weekend and shut out in two of the three meets.

"It's three more losses," head coach Steve Hougton said. "Overall, obviously the scores are disappointing."

Iowa was whipped by No. 63 Tulane on March 16 and No. 34 Memphis on Sunday; both meets were called at 4-0 once the opponents had clinched the victories.

"We were just overpowered," Houghton said. "Memphis is a big-hitting team, and we didn't handle the power well."

The Hawkeyes' lone point came on March 17 during their 4-1 loss to No. 64 Rice. Iowa took the doubles point behind wins by the No. 1 team of Michael Swank and Garret Dunn and the No. 3 pairing of Will Vasos and sophomore Chase Tomlins.

Junior Connor Gilmore continued the revolving door at the bottom of the singles lineup as he made the first three spring starts of his career; he played at No. 6 once and No. 5 twice. His first two outings went unfinished, and he lost to Memphis' David O'Leary (6-0, 6-1) on Sunday.

Houghton said he has narrowed the carousel at the bottom of the lineup to three players.

"The three front-runners out of the group would probably be — in no order — Chase, Connor, and Tom [Mroziewicz]," Houghton said. "But there are other guys who are still in the picture, too."

Iowa will return to action on Friday at home against Northwestern in both teams' Big Ten opener.

— by Tom Clos

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