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Iowa men's tennis heads to Minneapolis for ITA regionals

BY KEVIN GLUECK | OCTOBER 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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Two members of the men’s tennis team have had very different starts to their season. Junior Jonas Dierckx has had success so far this fall, while senior captain Garret Dunn is still trying to get on track.

The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Minneapolis to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association  Central Regional Championship today in a tournament that will take place over the course of the weekend. Their respective doubles partners, junior Michael Swank and sophomore Matt Hagan, will join Dunn and Dierckx.

Dunn hasn’t quite gotten the results he wanted this year in singles so far, going 0-2.

“I’m still working back into things from this summer,” he said. “I wasn’t really able to play as much as I would have liked. It’s been taking a while to get back into the swing of things.”

Dunn hasn’t gotten as much action on the court in the doubles game either. He and his partner Swank went into the All-American Championships ranked No. 55 doubles pair in the country by the tennis association but fell in their only match, 8-4, to Brett Clark and William Parker of North Carolina.

“We had a tough match,” Dunn said. “It wasn’t discouraging by any means. We just got to put our nose down to the grass and keep playing and working hard. I know good things will come.”

Assistant coach Steve Nash, who will coach the team this weekend, believes that it’s all a matter of practice.

“For a serve and volley guy at Garret’s size, it takes more repetition in match play to get used to timing shots,” said Nash. “Some games take longer to get tuned up.”

On the other hand, Dierckx has been a model of consistency for the Hawkeyes. He won his respective flight’s consolation bracket at the Penn Invitational.

“Because I kept on winning, I played a lot of matches,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence now because I won.”

Dierckx is tied with three other teammates for the team lead in total wins this fall with six.  Last season, he won a doubles flight at the Big Ten indoor championships with doubles partner Hagan.

“My game is consistent because I bring a lot of balls back. I don’t have an extreme game where I attack on every ball,” Dierckx said. “When I have an off day, I’m still able to bring balls back.”

The team has been idle for a week, which Nash believes helped the team prepare for nationally ranked competition from Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Tulsa.

Nash said the athletes got a day off this week — their first since the first day of the season — but noted that the players can’t get too much time off, because they’ll get “stale.”

“It’s a great barometer. This is where you get to see where skills [of the team] are,” Nash said. “It’s a really good source of knowledge of where we need to be in January.”


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