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Hawkeyes drop first home match of the year

BY BLAKE DOWSON | MARCH 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team dropped its first match of the year at home on Feb. 27 as Drake ended the Hawks’ five-match winning streak.

Ranked No. 29, the Bulldogs (11-3) pulled out the victory over the Hawkeyes (7-2), 5-2.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities tonight,” interim head coach Ross Wilson said. “We didn’t come out with any energy. We could’ve seized the doubles point — we were up 2-0 in No. 1 doubles and couldn’t close.”

Senior Matt Hagan and freshman Lefteris Theodorou dropped the No. 1 doubles match (7-5), and freshmen Stieg Martens and Jake Jacoby dropped the No. 2 matchup (6-2).

Junior Dom Patrick and freshman Josh Silverstein had their match abandoned (6-6).

“We played with very low energy,” Patrick said. “We weren’t firing it up and making a good enough effort to catch a momentum swing. It is something we talked about and needs to change.”

Iowa came out slowly in singles play as well, with four of the six players dropping their first set.

Martens was first to finish at No. 4 singles, losing in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) to leave his record at 3-6.

Silverstein put the Hawkeyes on the board at No. 5 singles, registering a straight set 6-2, 6-3 victory to improve to 7-2.

Patrick dropped a tough No. 2 matchup against No. 34 Ben Lott (6-2, 6-4) for his first loss of the year. His record now stands at 6-1.

Theodorou kept Iowa alive with a win of his own at No. 3 (6-1, 7-6 [9-7]). The freshman moved his record to 7-2.

“[Theodorou] kept us in it,” Wilson said. “He fought really hard. He gave us a little momentum and hope towards the end. Jake [Jacoby] got a big boost from Lefty, I think.”

Despite the boost, Jacoby dropped a close match at No. 6 (7-6 [7-5], 6-5).

Hagan, in one of his biggest matches of the year, didn’t quite hit enough shots to win. He registered a loss against No. 55 Alen Salibasic (7-6 [6-1], 6-4).

“Singles was more of the same,” Wilson said. “We didn’t play with enough urgency. Drake played well, and they’re a good team, but we can’t give them as many opportunities as we did.”

Next up for the Hawkeyes is Louisiana-Lafayette at 9 a.m. today in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. The Ragin’ Cajuns are ranked No. 75 and present another opportunity for Iowa to pick up a ranked win.

Patrick said that matches against top teams such as Drake will lead the Hawks to success against some of the best competition in the country.

“I firmly believe we can compete with [top-30 teams],” he said.

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


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