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Men's tennis to compete in Big Ten Singles/Doubles Tournament

BY CHARLIE GREEN | OCTOBER 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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This weekend Iowa men’s tennis team will travel to Minneapolis for the Big Ten Singles/Doubles Tournament as it gets a look at the competition it will face in the spring.

“It’s a big weekend for us,” interim coach Ross Wilson said. “It’s a good chance to see what the other Big Ten teams have and see how we match up against them.”

The Big Ten consists of 12 ranked players in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings of the top 125, with Ohio State and Illinois having three each.

“We’ve had a few good weeks of practice, because we haven’t had a tournament in a little while,” junior Dominic Patrick said. “We’ve been training hard; it’s time to leave it all on the court and see how we do this weekend.”

For Wilson, the tournament provides a glimpse of what his lineup could look like in the spring.
“It’s a big tournament for all the guys when we’re trying to figure out who we’re going to play in our top six,” Wilson said. “We want to make sure we’re playing the guys who give us the best chance to win, and who have a history of success against Big Ten opponents.”

While senior Matt Hagan and freshman Jake Jacoby stood out at the Regional Tournament, Wilson has high hopes for another Hawkeye to break out.

“I think Dom [Patrick] has been playing really well,” Wilson said. “He’s won a lot of matches this fall; I think he has a real shot to break out.”

For a team loaded with freshmen, the tournament is a pivotal opportunity to show how they handle Big Ten opponents.

“I want to see how they compete on the stage when they know they’re going against the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and Illinois,” Wilson said. “I want to see how they do when they’re in that environment.”

Another test for the freshmen will be the upcoming schedule, which has them competing for 14 of the first 16 days of November in New York, Minnesota, and Illinois — a tournament players will have to qualify for.

Although Hagan is the only one with a shot at qualifying for the National Indoor Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York, the team’s schedule is still demanding — and also consists of an unofficial tournament at Notre Dame.

“Our schedule doesn’t get easier when we start in the spring,” Wilson said. “As soon as January and February are over we start the Big Ten season. And there aren’t going to be any easy matches this year.”

But the team is taking it one tournament, match, set, and point at a time. And they realize the opportunity this weekend presents.

“I’m playing hard, the team’s playing hard,” freshman Josh Silverstein said. “And we’re going to shock a few schools at this tournament.”


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