The Daily Iowan

Hawkeye tennis hits road for last fall tournaments

The Iowa men will travel to Texas, while the women head to Las Vegas for their last fall tournaments.

Jonas+Larsen+reaches+for+the+ball+during+a+match+against+Indiana+at+the+HTRC+on+April+13%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+were+defeated+4-3.+
Jonas Larsen reaches for the ball during a match against Indiana at the HTRC on April 13, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 4-3.

Jonas Larsen reaches for the ball during a match against Indiana at the HTRC on April 13, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 4-3.

Megan Nagorzanski

Megan Nagorzanski

Jonas Larsen reaches for the ball during a match against Indiana at the HTRC on April 13, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 4-3.

Cody Smith, Sports Reporter

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The Iowa men’s tennis squad will be sending freshman Oliver Okonkwo and sophomore Joe Tyler to Austin, Texas, where they will compete Nov. 9-12 in the Longhorn Invitational, while the entire women’s team will be headed to Las Vegas for the Rebel Tennis Women’s Invitational at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the campus of Nevada-Las Vegas.

RELATED: Hawkeye Tennis’ Kareem Allaf ready to compete at Oracle National Fall Championships

“This tournament presents a great opportunity for us to build off of the ITA Central Regionals and test ourselves against high quality opponents,” women’s head coach Sasha Schmid said in a release. “This team has done a great job of bonding over the course of the fall, even without traveling as a team. I’m excited for the team to make memories this weekend and I believe it’ll be great for our team as we end the fall season.”

All nine of the members of the women’s squad will be competing in the event, including freshman Chloe Ruette and junior Elise Van Heuvelen Treadwell, who missed the ITA event in October because of injury.

“It’s great to be back in full force,” Van Heuvelen Treadwell said. “I’m excited for Vegas. I just want to build a solid foundation since this is my first match since last spring.

Although Van Heuvelen Treadwell has missed some time due to a wrist injury, that doesn’t mean she’s stopped working on improving her game. Since being hurt, Van Heuvelen Treadwell has focused on her fitness and footwork.

Now that she’s healthy, look for the 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and two-time All-Big Ten first teamer to make a significant impact for the Hawkeyes this weekend.

Both Okonkwo and Tyler, on the other hand, come into this last weekend coming off strong finishes in the Big Ten Indoor Tournament. Tyler won his flight with doubles partner Piotr Smietana, posting three-straight wins, while Okonkwo picked up four wins between singles and doubles.

“I think it’s really good for Oliver to come in as a freshman and do so well,” assistant coach Joey Manilla said. “He’s has some big wins this fall against some ranked opponents. Additionally, Joe has had a great fall because he’s taking the necessary steps to make him the best player he can be.”

Finishing this final fall tournament strong will be the key for these younger guys on the men’s squad. Each win the underclassmen pick up will be vital for experiences they can then use when the team resumes play as a team in the spring.

Heading into the spring season, Okonkwo wants to finish strong.

“If I can do well in this tournament, then I can end on a high note,” Okonkwo said. “I want to knock out the stuff that hasn’t gone too well in my previous tournaments.”

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About the Writer
Cody Smith, Sports Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Cody Smith is a sports reporter at The Daily Iowan covering men’s and women’s tennis. He is a senior at the UI.

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