By the Numbers: Iowa men’s tennis aiming to build on positives

Last season presented Hawkeye men’s tennis with many peaks and valleys. In 2018-19, the Hawkeyes found many positives they can build upon.

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By the Numbers: Iowa men’s tennis aiming to build on positives

Iowa head coach Ross Wilson watches as Will Davies plays during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Michigan State at the HTRC on Friday, April 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 5-2.

Iowa head coach Ross Wilson watches as Will Davies plays during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Michigan State at the HTRC on Friday, April 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 5-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa head coach Ross Wilson watches as Will Davies plays during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Michigan State at the HTRC on Friday, April 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 5-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa head coach Ross Wilson watches as Will Davies plays during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Michigan State at the HTRC on Friday, April 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 5-2.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

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The Hawkeye sports itch is back in Iowa City. While many sports programs have already taken the field, one sport remains in limbo: tennis. Hawkeye men’s and women’s tennis will not find the competitive court for a few more weeks. While other fall sports look ahead to the coming season, tennis takes a look back at last season. Here’s a look at the 2018-19 Hawkeye men’s tennis team by the numbers.

18 – wins in 2018

In 2018-19 the Hawkeyes earned 18 total wins. Six of those came against Big Ten foes.

Iowa was most dominant at home last season, as fourteen of the Hawkeyes’ 18 wins came at home. Fourteen of the Hawkeyes’ 18 wins last season came at home. Iowa was nearly unstoppable at home, boasting a 14-2 record in matches played at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex last season.

10 – losses in 2018

2018-19 yielded a mere 10 losses for Iowa’s men’s tennis team. At 18-10 on the season, the Hawkeyes posted a .643 win percentage. However, five of Iowa’s losses last season were against Big Ten opponents. All in all, the Hawkeyes gutted out a 6-5 conference play record last season.

Home dominance is inevitably something the Hawkeyes will continue to look back on positively heading into the 2019-20 season. Conversely, Iowa’s record on the road last season will likely be viewed as failure by coaches, players, and spectators alike. Last year, the Hawkeyes stumbled their way into a rough 3-7 record away from home.

3 – Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25

Last season, three Big Ten teams were ranked inside the ITA top 25. Ohio State was ranked first overall by the end of the 2018-19 season. Illinois (15) and Michigan (19) were the other Big Ten schools represented in the poll.

The Hawkeyes went 1-2 against ITA top 25 teams in 2018-19. Iowa lost to Ohio State at home and Illinois on the road. Iowa’s lone win against top 25 teams came at the HTRC against Michigan. 

It is also worth mentioning that Iowa defeated Minnesota before the Golden Gophers fell out of the ITA Top 25. When Iowa beat Minnesota, the Gophers came in at 18th overall.

19 – doubles points won in 2018

Last season, Iowa won 19 out of 28 possible doubles points. The Hawkeyes only earned one win without the doubles point last season. Contrarily, Iowa only lost twice when it earned the doubles point. Iowa finished 17-2 when it won the doubles point and 1-8 when it did not earn the doubles point.

Because of this trend, the Hawkeyes need to prioritize winning the doubles point in every match in 2019-20.

The numbers also suggest that Iowa needs to play better on the road and against ITA top 25 teams. If the Hawkeyes want national respect, posting a .500 or better winning percentage on the road and against ITA ranked teams will certainly help.

Briefly looking outside the numbers, there is tremendous upside for this Hawkeye team. It ended last season on a 5-1 run over its last six games. Iowa will also bring back standout veterans Kareem Allaf and Joe Tyler. Head coach Ross Wilson will be returning for his sixth season, as well.

One thing that is clearly identifiable without numbers is the palpable excitement surrounding Iowa’s men’s tennis team heading into the 2019-20 season.

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