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Bolivian trio reunited at Iowa after tennis transfer

BY KEVIN GLUECK | AUGUST 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team has added a face that’s familiar to some Hawkeyes.

Assistant Coach Steve Nash said junior Juan Estenssoro has transferred from Wichita State to Iowa. Juan Estenssoro is the older brother of Andres Estenssoro, a sophomore on the team. The Estenssoros hail from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where they attended Santa Cruz International School alongside current Hawkeye sophomore Alejandro Rios.

Juan Estenssoro said that Iowa was always the university he had desired to attend.

“When I was searching schools, I was talking with Iowa,” he said. “But I couldn’t get in because my English was not that good. I was always looking for Iowa because I know it has a great combination of good academics and a great athletics program.”

Juan Estenssoro said because his brother became a Hawkeye, it helped his decision to transfer.

“I’ve been talking to my brother and asking about the program and how everything is here at Iowa,” he said. “I worked hard to come here after two years at Wichita State.”

It wasn’t all a smooth transition. Juan Estenssoro met some resistance when he decided to leave the Wichita State.

“My coach was not happy at all,” he said. “I guess he was expecting that I was not going to stay with him at Wichita State.”

Andres Estenssoro and Rios agree that having Juan Estenssoro at Iowa will make Iowa City feel more like Santa Cruz.

“He’s my brother, [and] he’s a very good friend of Alejandro,” Andres said. “We were in the same high school. It feels more like home.”

The trio can eat meals together and assist one another with a problem most of their teammates may not fully understand.

“We feel more connected,” Rios said. “We can speak about the same things. Obviously, speak the same language. It helps you with being homesick a lot.”

Conversely, Juan Estenssoro thinks he will benefit most from having friends and family already in Iowa City. In addition to familiar faces in practice, the pair of sophomores is helping Juan get acclimated to the town and university.

Juan Estenssoro was a standout at Wichita State last year as a sophomore, and he was named to the Missouri Valley All-Conference Team at the No. 6 singles position. He went 19-3 in singles play, 5-0 in Missouri Valley dual matches.

Iowa’s presumed No. 1 player, senior Garrett Dunn, is excited to have Juan Estenssoro on the courts because he’s seemingly much like his brother.

“He did really well at Wichita State, and I’ve heard good things from the coaches. I’ve actually played with him a little bit,” Dunn said. “If he’s anything like his brother, he’ll be a really hard worker and be a good contribution to the team this year.”

Juan Estenssoro just wants to improve and compete before considering his role on the squad.

“Hopefully, I will be playing in the lineup on this really competitive team,” he said. “It’s a really good conference. I just came here to help the team and try to get better.”


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