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Iowa tennis benefits from another Arizona recruit

BY KEVIN GLUECK | SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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Four years ago, two current Hawkeyes played each other while they were still in high school. It was an uneven matchup between a freshman and a senior. The senior won easily, by a score of 6-3, 6-2.
Today, they’re teammates.

The two Arizonans are senior captain Garret Dunn and freshman Dominic Patrick. Dunn was already committed to Iowa when the two played in high school.

“My parents would say, ‘How cool would that be if you went to Iowa one day?’ ” Patrick said. “I started to talk to Coach Houghton, and I loved the school and the athletics.”

Patrick comes in to the UI as a highly sought after five-star recruit from Campo Verde High School in Gilbert, Ariz. He won two-straight Division-II Arizona state high school singles titles and had an overall record of 25-8 his senior season. Patrick chose Iowa over Wake Forest, Louisville, Michigan State, and Marquette.

Aside from playing Dunn once, it doesn’t seem like Patrick would have much connection to the Midwest. But head man Steve Houghton said he has been able to recruit well in the West.

“I think a lot of it is word of mouth. You would think in the South it would be difficult to recruit kids because of the bad weather,” Houghton said. “[But] Arizona is a relatively small state in the tennis world.”

Houghton also described on how he has developed a recruiting pipeline from the Grand Canyon state.

“People know people,” he said. “[Former Iowa Tennis player] Tommy McGeorge had a good experience here. Garret has had a good experience here. I think that helped with Dominic.”

Assistant coach Steve Nash talked about how some tennis players from warm areas seem to travel north for school.

“Even though it’s cold here, they love football and the big schools,” Nash said. “Our first one [McGeorge] helped us. Garret has helped us. Dominic will help us in the future.”

Nash thinks Patrick has the potential to be a contributor to the team as a freshman, not just as a recruiting tool down the road.

“He has all the skills to have a great year,” Nash said. “He has to find a game that is going to work in high-level, Division-I tennis.”

Houghton said Patrick has a chance to earn a spot in the upper half of the lineup this year.
In order to prepare for his first collegiate season, Patrick spent most of his summer in another warm state 2,282 miles away: Florida.

“I go out to Sanibel; it’s a little island that I train on clay,” he said.

Clay is not a surface used in college tennis, but Patrick says it helps him hone his game.

“It teaches you patience, and you have more balls to hit,” he said.

Patrick is confident heading into starting the next step in his tennis career.

“I think college takes you to a new level,” he said. “As long as I play within myself, I think I have a chance against anyone.”


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