No. 42 Hawkeyes host busy weekend

The Hawkeyes will host three teams in a weekend full of tough matchups.

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Joseph Cress

Iowa’s Josh Silverstein returns a ball during a men’s tennis meet against Wisconsin in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The Hawkeyes lost to the Badgers, 5-2. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)


Iowa men’s tennis will return home this weekend, hoping to extend its five-match winning streak. The Hawkeyes will begin on March 2, hosting Cornell at 5 p.m. Iowa will then host two teams March 4, Oregon at 11 a.m. and Omaha at 5 p.m.

Iowa launched itself into the national rankings on Feb. 27 after upsetting No. 14 Dartmouth on Feb. 24. The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 42, their highest ranking since reaching the No. 33 slot on March 1, 2016.

“[It’s] exciting to see our name up there,” senior Josh Silverstein said. “Forty-two is a good ranking, we’re 10 spots away from a school record.”

Freshman Will Davies wants to see his squad ranked higher as well.

“We won’t rest until we’re a lot higher up,” he said.

The Hawkeyes have continued to break ahead early, earning the doubles point in nine of its 11 matches.

“We just have a lot of guys who are natural doubles players,” coach Ross Wilson said. “They’re very comfortable around the net, very comfortable picking up returns early.”

Hoping to keep its hot streak going, Iowa continued practice as usual this week.

“We’re practicing hard, doing our normal routines and not trying to change too much,” Silverstein said.

The Hawkeyes’ first opponent, Cornell, returns to competition after its 1-2 finish at the ECAC Indoor Championships two weeks ago. The last time the two met, Iowa dominated, 4-2, on the road more than two years ago.

The Big Red return seven letter winners from last season, among them David Volfson, who leads the team with a 2-3 record at the No. 1 spot.

Wilson is confident heading into the weekend.

“They know what to expect now, and now, it’s time for us to really put it together,” he said.

When No. 40 Oregon battles the Hawkeyes, it will try to continue its six-match winning streak.

Oregon brings a few ranked players to the tennis complex, including No. 13 singles player Thomas Laurent. Laurent and his doubles partner, Cormac Clissold, hold the No. 16 ranking in doubles.

Clissold, along with sophomore Ty Gentry, enters the weekend undefeated.

The Ducks prevailed over the Hawkeyes in their two matches last season, 5-2 and 4-0.

Last up for the Hawkeyes will be Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks will try to come back from a 7-0 loss to No. 10 Oklahoma State.

Omaha will try to notch its first road victory of the season. Leading the Mavericks is sophomore Razvan Grigorescu, who has a 7-4 singles record. The No. 2 position belongs to another sophomore, Abdoul Ouattara, supporting the Mavericks with nine singles wins.

The Mavericks are only 5-8 this season. During the last meeting between the two, the Hawkeyes prevailed, 6-1, on Feb. 3, 2017.

Still, the Hawkeyes won’t overlook anyone.

“They’re all tough, all good, we certainly don’t look past anyone,” Wilson said. “We’re going to have to be ready to play all three matches.”

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