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Iowa men’s tennis team starts 2-0

BY BLAKE DOWSON | JANUARY 26, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team got its spring season underway on Sunday, when it took on Western Michigan and Western Illinois.

The Hawkeyes faced Western Michigan in the morning session of the double-header, defeating the Broncos, 6-1.

“We knew Western Michigan was going to be tough,” interim head coach Ross Wilson said. “I felt like we were nervous at the beginning, but we hung in there and got it going toward the end.”

Iowa swept the doubles matchups against the Broncos. Senior Matt Hagan and junior Dom Patrick won (6-4), freshmen Stieg Martens and Lefteris Theodorou won (7-6), and freshmen Jake Jacoby and Josh Silverstein won (7-5).

The Hawkeyes won five of six singles pairings, with Hagan winning the No. 1 matchup. Patrick won the No. 2 matchup in straight sets along, and Theodorou won the No. 3 match in the same fashion. Silverstein took the loss at No. 4 in straight sets, while Martens and Jacoby both had comeback victories in the third set of their matches.

The Hawkeyes cruised to a victory in the nightcap against Western Illinois, 7-0.

Iowa again swept the doubles matches. Hagan and sophomore Nils Hallenstrand won (6-1), with the teams of Martens, Theodorou and Jacoby, Silverstein both winning 6-0. Theodorou, Martens, Silverstein, Jacoby, and senior Andres Estenssoro all won their singles matches in straight sets. Hallenstrand won by forfeit.

Wilson said he was happy with the way his team performed in its spring debut, and assistant coach Ty Schaub said the intensity the team had was what he liked the most.

With four freshmen getting their first crack at competition, Wilson and Schaub agreed that the group responded well.

“The freshmen played really well. There was a lot of pressure on them, and we’re going to need them to win a lot of matches this year,” Schaub said. “They came out and competed and fought hard to win.”

Wilson echoed Schaub’s thoughts, and Hagan was pleased with his team’s performance, specifically the freshmen.

“I thought everyone competed really well, and everyone showed up for us,” Hagan said.  Western Michigan is a good team, a team we lost to last year. The freshmen are in a tough spot in the lineup playing 3 through 6 for us. Lefteris played really well, and for Stieg and Jake to win in three was nice.”

He noted that it is not all about wins and losses this early in the year but about gaining experience and confidence, and as Patrick said, the competition will pay off later on.

“I didn’t think we played our best today, but we competed really hard, and that was crucial for us,” he said. “That will benefit us a lot when we play more ranked teams.”

Follow @B_Dows4 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s tennis team.


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