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Hawkeye men's tennis heads to California for spring trip

BY DOMINICK WHITE | MARCH 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to the West Coast to compete over spring break, but not without going over some minor travel complications.

The Hawkeyes will fly out of Quad City International Airport today and Saturday because of class scheduling conflicts. These conflicts arose because of the NCAA’s 48-hour rule, which states that it is not permissible for a team to depart more than 48 hours prior to an event.

“Some players have classes on Fridays that conflict with our 1 p.m. flight,” junior Jonas Dieckx said. “So those players are leaving on Saturday, while the rest of us will fly to California on Friday.”

The Hawkeyes are scheduled to fly out of Moline at 1 p.m. today, and their first match was scheduled for 1 p.m. March 17. At first glance, it appears as if Iowa is in compliance with the 48-hour rule. However, the two-hour time difference means the Hawkeyes will depart 50 hours prior to the event.

So the match was moved back two hours to 3 p.m. The Hawkeyes still plan on traveling in two groups — five players will leave Moline today, and the other six will leave on Saturday.

Playing outdoors presents a couple obstacles for the tennis team to overcome. First off, they have to deal with Mother Nature. Playing in the sunlight and managing wind conditions will be something that the Hawkeyes have to adjust to.

In order to play outdoors, the temperature must be above 50 degrees and the wind speed must be below 20 mph. In addition, outdoor courts play slower than indoor courts, so the Hawkeyes need to get acclimated to slower court speeds.

“Making the adjustment to playing outdoors will be challenging at first,” sophomore Matt Hagan said. “We’ve been playing indoors for four to five months. So playing three outdoor matches next week will be tough.”

The Hawkeyes will stay in San Bruno, Calif. The first match of the trip will be against San Francisco in San Francisco.

Afterwards, the Hawkeyes will head back to San Bruno for a couple of days before facing off against No. 66 Pacific in Stockton, Calif., on March 20. Iowa will complete its spring trip against Fresno State on March 22 and return to Iowa City on March 24.

The spring trip marks the Hawkeyes’ final tune-up before they enter the heart of the Big Ten schedule.

“The Big Ten season will most likely be outdoors when the weather warms up,” Hawkeye captain Garret Dunn said. “That’s why it’s nice to have these spring-break matches. It’s nonconference play, so it doesn’t count against our conference record, but we can still get some good matches in.”


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