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Wilson, Schaub get crack at their alma mater

BY BLAKE DOWSON | APRIL 17, 2015 5:00 AM

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As the Iowa men’s tennis team closes in on the end of its regular season, this weekend will be a little different than the rest for interim head coach Ross Wilson and his assistant, Ty Schaub.

The young coaching duo has a chance to go up against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the pair’s alma mater, and the same coach that led them to the top of the collegiate tennis ranks.

When Wilson was named head coach in September the first call he made was to Schaub, asking him to assist in building the Hawkeye program.

“We had kept in touch since college,” Wilson said of Schaub. “He was the first guy I thought of when I got the opportunity to become the head coach here at Iowa.”

Wilson, who graduated in 2007, was a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association national doubles champion at Ohio State.

Schaub, a 2009 graduate, was a four-time Big Ten champion at Ohio State and was a part of a team that went 129-8 in dual matches during his time there.

Schaub said the duo’s personalities work well together in coaching.

“We definitely have different personalities,” he said. “I’m more laid back than Ross. But we have the same philosophies as coaches.”

On Friday the pair will again be surrounded by scarlet and grey, but this time they will be on the other side of the net wearing black and gold.

The No. 66 Hawkeyes (12-8, 4-5) are scheduled to take on the No. 11 Buckeyes in their penultimate Big Ten match of the year.

“Ohio State is really good,” senior Matt Hagan said. “They’re going to be really consistent. No matter where in their lineup, they’re going to be solid.”

Wilson, who faced Ohio State as Iowa’s assistant coach last year, said he does not find any extra motivation against his former team.

“We’re such different programs,” Wilson said. “Really it’s just another match for us to improve. But it’s always nice to see those guys.”

Ohio State (21-7, 8-1) has played 16 ranked matches this year, with Iowa being its 17th. They hold a 9-7 record in those matches.

The Hawkeyes are scheduled to take on Penn State (13-14, 3-6) on April 19 in their most crucial match of the year.

The Hawkeyes also has a date with the Chicago State Cougars (4-15) on April 19 to finish their regular season schedule.

If Iowa beats Penn State, it will seal the six seed in the Big Ten Tournament. If Penn State wins, the Nittany Lions get the six seed.

“We’re dead even with them,” Wilson said. “They’ve lost some close 4-3 matches. If we play the way we play, we can beat them.”

Penn State finished the 2013-2014 season ranked No. 24 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A win against the experienced Nittany Lions would do wonders for the confidence of the young Hawkeyes.

“If we play well against Ohio State, that gives us momentum against Penn State,” Hagan said. “If we go into the tournament with a win against Penn State, that puts us in a really good position and gives us a lot of confidence.”


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