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Point/Counterpoint: Who should have been Newcomer of the Year?

BY DI STAFF | MAY 14, 2015 5:00 AM

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Lefteris Theodorou

Lefteris Theodorou, after a tremendous freshman season for the Iowa men’s tennis program, should be the Newcomer of the Year.

He was the best player in a freshmen class for the Hawkeyes that has started the program’s turnaround.

The freshman from Greece was tied for the team lead in wins on the year with 16.

Theodorou stepped into the No. 3 spot in the Hawkeyes’ lineup at the beginning of the season and had success right away. Playing behind the only two upperclassmen on the team, he registered a 9-4 record in the No. 3 position.

On April 8 in a match against Nebraska, Theodorou moved up to the No. 2 spot and did not let go of it. He played the rest of the year in that spot with a .500 record.

In limited action at the top spot in the lineup, Theodorou went undefeated at 3-0.

In an April 12 matchup against No. 26 Northwestern, the freshman beat No. 116 Strong Kirchheimer. Theodorou was the only freshman on the Iowa squad to register a nationally ranked victory on the year.

Anybody who went to an Iowa tennis match this year knows that Theodorou is a key component in the future of Hawkeye tennis. He plays with a level of fire and intensity that is unmatched by any of his opponents.

The skills that Theodorou possesses on the court makes the Greek’s ceiling higher than most, and he flashed that brilliance this year.

He should be the Newcomer of the Year.

— Blake Dowson

Brandon Sorensen

Early in the season, the 149-pound weight class was full of question marks. Iowa had two wrestlers — Sorensen and junior Brody Grothus — who both looked as if they could grab the spot in the lineup.

Sorensen wrestled against Iowa State, but then Grothus got the nod in the Big Ten opener against Michigan State.

By the time the Midlands Championships rolled around in late December, it seemed the tournament could possibly decide who would see more consistent action.

Sorensen finished third; Grothus got hurt, and Iowa’s 149-pound quandary was solved.

Sorensen took the opportunity in stride, rattling off 12-straight wins and skyrocketing on many outlets rankings.

His run ended against Drake Houdashelt in the National Duals finals, but two weeks later he rebounded, finishing second at the Big Ten Championships.

Sorensen was brought slightly back to earth at the NCAA Championships, where he was knocked to the consolation bracket on the first day.

However, he battled his way through the wrestlebacks and finished fourth.

He finished the season with a 40-6 record, one win shy of tying Ed Banach’s single-season freshman record.

Not only did Sorensen impress observers in his first season as a Hawkeye, he absolutely dominated.

The splash that he made on the wrestling team was impressive and certainty deserving of the Newcomer of the Year award.

— Jordan Hansen


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