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Men's tennis keeps rolling, now 5-1

BY BLAKE DOWSON | FEBRUARY 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Hawkeye men’s tennis team captured its biggest win of the season in exciting come-from-behind fashion on Feb. 13 against BYU.

“We came in with a lot of confidence,” interim head coach Ross Wilson said. “Our guys competed in every single match. We hung around and gained control toward the end of the matches.”

Iowa dropped the doubles point to fall behind early. The pairing of senior Matt Hagan and junior Dom Patrick dropped their match (6-3). In the No. 2 doubles match, freshmen Lefteris Theodorou and Stieg Martens also lost (6-3), which clinched the point for the Cougars.

Patrick said the team had its back against the wall after the doubles point, but he was proud of how hard the team, especially the freshmen, competed the rest of the match.

Freshmen Jake Jacoby and Josh Silverstein had their match abandoned at 5-5.

Wilson was forced to make a lineup change for the Hawkeyes in the singles matches because of a nagging injury to Hagan, the nation’s No. 98 player and Iowa’s No. 1 guy.

“[Hagan] has been dealing will a pulled muscle in his right thigh,” Wilson said. “He tried to play through it in his doubles match, but he didn’t have any pop in his serve. His serve is his best shot, and he’s less effective without it working.”

In the first singles match to finish, Martens was defeated in the No. 3 spot for the Hawkeyes in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) to give BYU a 2-0 team advantage.

Silverstein was next to finish, getting Iowa board with a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the No. 4 position.

Theodorou stepped into the No. 1 spot for the Hawkeyes in place of Hagan. In a thrilling three-set match, Theodorou came out on top (6-3, 5-7, 6-3) to tie the team score at 2-2.

Theodorou usually plays in the No. 3 spot for Iowa, but Wilson said he liked the matchup and decided to move the freshman to the No. 1 spot.

Patrick also won in a three-set match (2-6, 6-4, 6-4), coming from behind to give the Hawkeyes another team point and the lead at 3-2.

Sophomore Nils Hallestrand filled the lineup spot left by Hagan and played the No. 6 match. He lost in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) to even the team score at 3-3.

Jacoby was last to finish in the No. 5 spot. Forced into a winner-take-all situation, Jacoby dropped the first set in a tiebreaker. Facing match point in a tiebreaker in the second set, he battled back and forced a third and deciding set.

Jacoby went on the win the final set (6-4) and seal the victory for the Hawkeyes at 4-3.

“This was a huge win for us,” Wilson said. “Especially on the road against a good team like BYU.”

Iowa will travel to Salt Lake City to take on Utah this evening.

“This is our second ranked team this year, and the guys have been through some battles already,” Wilson said. “We’re ready. We know we can come out of this weekend with two wins, and we’re half way there. Hopefully, we can knock off a ranked Utah team and find ourselves in the rankings on Wednesday.”

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


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