Point/Counterpoint: Who will have a better comeback season, Iowa men's tennis or Iowa Volleyball?

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 03, 2013 5:00 AM

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After coming off a disappointing season in which the Iowa volleyball team finished 10-23, the Hawkeyes have the pieces in place to contend this season.

The team started out 10-9 last season only to lose 14-straight games. However, the experience gained from last season was much needed for this growing team.

Three players who suffered knee injuries last season are healthy, and Iowa has a large number of upperclassman talent. Iowa graduated one senior and gained four new players including transfer student Emily Bemis. She is a 6-2 sophomore from Dekalb, Ill., who played at Arizona last year, where she started 16 games and accumulated 16 kills, 7 digs, and 3 blocks.

Lauren Brobst is another newcomer on the Hawkeye squad. The 6-2 freshman from Sioux City was first-team all state and had three-straight state runner-up finishes in high school.

Junior Alex Lovell will try to continue her dominance this season; last season, she finished with a team-high 382 kills, the most on the team since 2005. Along with her is senior Nikki Dailey, who has started every game since her sophomore year. 

Coach Sharon Dingman, who is entering her sixth season at Iowa, has also introduced a new offense called the 6-2. She hopes to take advantage of the athleticism on the roster and quicken the pace this year, because the 6-2 is rarely used in the Big Ten.

With several players returning with starting experience, the Hawkeyes are a young team poised to contend in arguably the toughest conference in the nation.

Over the weekend, the Hawkeyes competed in their first tournament of the year at the Chanticleer Invitational. They won all three games and are 3-0 on the season.

This young, talented Hawkeye team should give its coach and fans a sense of optimism as it heads further into the season.

— by Jack Rossi

Men’s tennis

The Iowa men’s tennis team’s season was less than favorable.

With an overall record of 7-17 and a Big Ten record of 0-11, it seems that the Hawkeyes only have room for improvement. Iowa lost its first match of the season against Illinois State. Iowa also was defeated in key matches by (27) Drake, (29) Illinois, and (4) Ohio State. Iowa won matches against Bradley, Creighton, and Butler. After those victories, the team only won two of the next 18 matches.

The Hawkeyes have veteran leadership that includes six seniors this season. Senior Garret Dunn was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America third team.

If the Hawkeyes are able to start the season like they did last year — with a 6-1 record in the first seven matches — then they should be able to finish much stronger than they did the last season.

The Hawkeyes will kick off the season in the Drake Invitational in Des Moines. This should be a way for them to prove themselves early in the 2013-14 season. Later on, the Hawkeyes will play all eleven teams in the Big Ten. If they can win a few of these matches, the season will be an improvement. While last season was disappointing, one can only hope that this season will be great, and overall, the Iowa men’s tennis team can only improve from where they were last season.

— by Matthew Gentile

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