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Men's tennis finally returns home

BY JORDAN BUCHER | APRIL 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team will return to familiar territory after having six-straight road matches to begin a stretch of five-consecutive contests at home. The Hawkeyes will host No. 33 Purdue today and No. 69 Indiana on April 6 at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. The first serve against the Boilermakers is set for 2 p.m., while the match against the Hoosiers is scheduled to begin at noon. 

Iowa has had an impressive home season, carrying a perfect 8-0 record, while dropping all but one match on the road.

“We have been traveling for the past month, so it will be great to return home,” head coach Steve Houghton said. “We have played well at home, and it is an advantage to play in front of our fans. Guys are road-weary with all of the travel; it will boost our chances.”

The Hawkeyes concluded their six-match road trip dropping three matches to No. 70 Wisconsin, No. 46 Michigan, and Michigan State, each by a 5-2 decision.

“We just had two tough losses last week, so our morale is a little down,” senior Juan Estenssoro said. “But we are a strong team and will be able to pull through by working together. We had to go back to basics this week.”

Purdue (11-3, 3-1) will enter the dual on a four-match winning streak. The Boilermakers have tied its highest-ever ranking following a pair of victories over No. 50 Minnesota and No. 62 Wisconsin. Szymon Tatarczyk and Ricky Medinilla lead the team at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions, while Aaron Dujovne and Diego Acosta pair up at the No. 1 doubles spot.

Indiana (12-12, 1-4) picked up a conference win over Wisconsin, while dropping a match to Minnesota last weekend. Sven Lalic has spent a majority of the season at the No. 1 slot in singles, while Sam Monette will play at No. 2. Lalic will join forces with Dimitrije Tasic at No. 1 doubles to pace the Hoosiers.

“Purdue and Indiana are on par with Michigan and Michigan State,” Houghton said. “We played close matches against the Michigan schools, so from a confidence standpoint, our guys believe that they can win against good, solid teams.”

The Hawkeyes have excelled in doubles action this season, claiming the doubles point in 11 of 16 matches. Senior Joey White leads the Hawkeyes in doubles with an 11-4 record at the No. 3 spot.

“It’ll be important for us to win the doubles point and carry that momentum through to singles,” he said. “Purdue is a strong team, but we have been playing a lot of good teams lately, so it shouldn’t be too different. I think if we all come out playing with confidence up and down the line we should have good results. The last few meets, only a couple of people came out ready to play.”


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