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Iowa drops pair of tough road matches

BY BLAKE DOWSON | APRIL 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s tennis team (12-8, 4-5) dropped both of its matches over the weekend against No. 3 Illinois and No. 26 Northwestern.

Iowa traveled to Illinois (20-3, 9-0) on April 11 to take on the Illini, dropping the match, 6-1, to the No. 3 team in the country. With its win, Illinois remained undefeated in conference play.

The Hawkeyes lost the doubles point with losses at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.

The Illini, who start five nationally ranked players in their singles lineup, won all of the top-five singles matches with straight-set victories.

The upperclassmen for the Hawkeyes, senior Matt Hagan and junior Dom Patrick, lost their matches at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.

The freshmen trio of Lefteris Theodorou, Josh Silverstein, and Stieg Martens dropped their matches at No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5.

In the one unranked matchup of the day, freshman Jake Jacoby topped Illinois’ Blake Bazarnik (6-4, 6-2) at No. 6 for Iowa’s lone team point.

“It was a nice win by Jake. He continues to improve every match,” interim head coach Ross Wilson said in a release.

Jacoby has won six of his last eight matches and has a 12-6 record this season.

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes traveled to Evanston to take on the Northwestern Wildcats (18-7, 7-2). Iowa again dropped the match by a score of 6-1.

Patrick and Silverstein won their doubles matchup at No. 3 but did not get any help from the No. 1 or No. 2 positions. Northwestern took the doubles point with a pair of 8-5 victories in the top slots.
Iowa again went 1-5 in singles play.

The upperclassmen duo of Hagan and Patrick both dropped their matches against the Wildcats to finish their weekends 0-2.

Hagan’s loss dropped his season record to 8-9.

Silverstein, Martens, and Jacoby all dropped their matches as well.

The one bright spot on the day for the Hawkeyes was Theodorou, who picked up his first ranked win of the season in straight sets against No. 116 Strong Kirchheimer (6-4, 7-5) at No. 2.

Theodorou now has a 13-6 record, and his 13 wins on the year are good for second on the team behind Silverstein’s 14.

The pair of losses moves the Hawkeyes to below .500 in the Big Ten for the first time since their opening loss to No. 32 Minnesota on March 20. It also moved the Hawkeyes down to sixth in the conference standings.

The road ahead for Iowa does not get much easier, as it finishes up its conference season next weekend at home against No. 11 Ohio State and No. 50 Penn State.

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


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