The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Men’s tennis gears up for double-header


The No. 62 Iowa men’s tennis team (2-1) will host a home double-header today against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Western Michigan.

Iowa started the year playing three-straight ranked opponents. The Hawks returned Sunday from a trip East competing in the Big Ten/Ivy League Challenge in which they played No. 45 Princeton and No. 60 Cornell.

“We wanted to go out there and play well and hopefully get one win …we didn’t get that done against Princeton, but we played really good tennis against Cornell and got the win,” Iowa head tennis coach Ross Wilson said.

The Hawkeyes will start the double-header against Edwardsville at 10 a.m. The Cougars are 0-3 on the year with losses to Butler, St. Louis, and Oral Roberts.

The second game is versus Western Michigan — a team Iowa has traded blows with the last two seasons. The Broncos are 4-1 on the young season, with a win against Purdue.

Although the level of competition the Hawkeyes will play this weekend may not compare with what they have seen thus far, the players are determined to not have a letdown.

“We’re still hungry to win this season,” senior captain Dom Patrick said. “It’s early on, and we have a lot of energy. I feel like we’ve been playing with a lot of energy, and it’s been good tennis so far. But we have to maintain that against teams that aren’t in the rankings, especially when they have the capability of being in the rankings. We have to go into it with the same mindset as any ranked match.”

It is important for a team such as Iowa to have strong showings against teams ranked behind them or out of the rankings entirely. The NCAA Tournament has a selection process much like the NCAA basketball tourney, which means bad losses hurt teams if they end up on the bubble.

With that said, this weekend will be a good test for the Hawkeyes. Not in the same way that the Big Ten/Ivy League Challenge was but a test nonetheless.

“For the first three matches, we’ve met our coaches’ goals,” sophomore Jake Jacoby said. “But being 62nd in the rankings, we’re not happy with that. We’re glad we’re moving up from where we were, but if you want to make the NCAA Tournament, you have to be in the 40s at worst. So this will be a big weekend for us. These teams are sneaky good.”

The schedule presents another challenge for the Hawkeyes with a big gap between the two matches.

Patrick said it will be more of a mental hurdle to jump than physical, and he looks forward to seeing how the freshmen respond to it.

“It’s difficult, but a lot of our guys did it last year, so they know what to expect,” he said. “We’ll see how the freshmen react. It’s more mentally draining than physically, because I feel like we’ve put ourselves into a position that we’re pretty physically fit.”


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