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Hawkeye men's tennis drops two conference meets

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

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The Iowa’s men’s tennis team dropped a pair a Big Ten meets this past weekend at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.

Play began with the Hawkeyes taking on No. 48 Michigan State on April 12. Iowa was defeated, 5-2, despite a strong start. The Hawks opened up the meet with a victory in doubles play by Joey White and Michael Swank, 8-5. Sophomore Matt Hagan and Iowa captain Garret Dunn won their match (8-5) against the Spartans top doubles team of Harry Jadun and Gijs Linders.

Iowa kept its early momentum by jumping out to a 1-0 lead during singles play. Hagan make quick work of his opponent by thumping him in straight sets (6-0, 6-3). The Omaha native’s match ended before some of his teammates could finish their first set.

“I keep on trying to stay consistent the whole match; I don’t want to have any drops in my game,” Hagan said. “I know once I have a guy down, I have to keep it going. I knew my opponent was going to come back in the second set, which he did, so I was glad that I closed it out.”

The Hawkeyes couldn’t put away the Spartans after their quick start. Michigan State completed a fierce comeback by winning the meet’s remaining five singles matches.

The Black and Gold didn’t have any better luck against No. 24 Michigan on Sunday afternoon. The Hawkeyes played a competitive meet, but their opponent proved to be superior, and Big Blue went on to win 7-0.

The meet started off with intense doubles play. White and Swank played the weekend’s most exciting match against Michigan’s Justin Rossi and Michael Zue. It was a fast-paced match that went back and forth until the end. Ultimately, the Hawkeye duo came up just short by losing in a tiebreaker (9-8 [13-11]).

One highlight of the day came from Dunn and Hagan. The unranked pair won their match handily by a score of 8-4 over the Wolverine team of Evan King and Shaun Bernstein, the No. 23 doubles team in the nation.

“We’ve both been playing with confidence,” Dunn said. “We’ve been experimenting with some new formations and new tactics this week in practice and it paid off in our match today.”

The Hawkeyes wound up dropping the doubles point despite Dunn and Hagan’s victory. Iowa fought hard during singles play but couldn’t breakthrough against a stingy Michigan squad. Iowa has improved its play as of late, even though it hasn’t produced desired results in the last couple of weeks.

“I continue to think we are making good progress despite the decisive scores against us this weekend,” Iowa head coach Steve Houghton said. “We are playing close individual matches against very good players. We are playing some of our best tennis regardless of the final scores, but it’s just not good enough against some of the real good teams in the Big Ten.”


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