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Iowa men's tennis prepares for first double-header of season

BY DOMINICK WHITE | FEBRUARY 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team will host the first of two double-headers this season today in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. The Hawkeyes are scheduled to face Bradley at 12:30 p.m. and Western Illinois at 6:30 p.m.

Iowa hasn’t faced Bradley this season, but it has had an opportunity to scout the Braves at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships in Minnesota during the fall schedule. Western Illinois comes into the match 2-3 on the season, but it features a standout freshman in Bradley Holt, who boasts a 4-1 record in singles matches on the season.

For some Hawkeye players, such as junior Michael Swank, this will be the first double-header of their college careers. Playing two meets on the same day presents a unique challenge for the Hawkeyes, he said.

“It is more of a grind,” Swank said. “When you go out for a single meet, you have one doubles and one singles match for the day, and you’re very prepared for those. When you have multiple matches in a day, there is a certain way you have to treat your body and maintain yourself mentally to have enough energy for the matches.”

Iowa head coach Steve Houghton wants his players to be fresh for today’s grueling double-header. Additionally, the head coach said he is considering lineup changes after the match against Bradley.

“We might use some substitutions,” Houghton said. “For the first matchup versus Bradley, we’ll use the same lineup as we used Sunday with a tweak or two. Then going into the second match, we’ll see. Some guys have minor nagging injuries, so if it makes sense to hold them out, we will. We’re basically going to play it by ear.”

The Hawkeyes will try to build off their victory over Loyola Marymount on Sunday. One of Iowa’s captains, Garrett Dunn, wants two things from his teammates today: consistency and focus.

“When you’re playing so much tennis in one day, it is really easy to lose focus,” he said. “But everyone has to remain sharp the throughout the day.”


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