Iowa tennis ready to host weekend battles

The Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center will be teeming with action this weekend as Iowa hosts multiple matches.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Will Davies hits a volley during a men's tennis match between Iowa and Western Michigan at the HTRC on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 4-3.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

It’s all about continuing to improve for Iowa tennis.

While Iowa’s women’s tennis team went a respectable 1-1 last weekend in Minneapolis — falling to Minnesota before topping Marquette — the Hawkeye men’s team hasn’t lost since their first match of 2020 and are unbeaten in the five matches since.

Most recently, the men defeated in-state rival Drake, winning 4-0.

“It was a huge win for us,” junior Will Davies said. “Especially for our confidence, it was our first match on the road, and to come away with a four-nil win is huge for us. We’ll be looking to build on that coming into this weekend and hopefully try and get two wins on the board.”

During the winning streak, the Hawkeyes have done a good job of fighting back in their matches if they get down on the scoreboard.

“As a whole, we’ve been able to shift the momentum, especially when things haven’t been going our way,” Davies said. “We’ve been able to shift the momentum onto our side and then capitalize on that. Obviously, when you have the momentum, it’s a lot easier to keep reeling off two or three games at a time, then when every guy seems to be turning it on and getting ahead, it gives everyone else a lot of confidence, so we need to keep building on that.”

The men’s team will play host to Middle Tennessee State at 6 p.m. Friday night and then Wichita St. at 2 p.m Sunday.

Middle Tennessee holds a 9-1 record this spring and has won three straight matches, defeating fellow Big Ten member Indiana, 4-2, last time out.

Wichita St. is currently 7-3 and has won the last two times the team has played.

“These two teams, Middle Tennessee [State] and Wichita [State], are both top 50 teams,” head coach Ross Wilson said. “Both have really good records, have had some really good wins over some SEC teams. We’ve got to be ready for some good matches here this weekend.”

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The women were slated to host two opponents over the three day stretch, as well, but their match with Old Dominion — which was scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday — has been cancelled. This leaves the women’s team with only one opponent: the Colorado Buffalos.

The matchup against Colorado is the first match at home this spring for Iowa.

“We have been tested on the road to start this season, and it’s great to be home for a couple weeks and compete on our courts,” head coach Sasha Schmid said in a release before the Old Dominion dual was cancelled. “We have two strong teams in town this weekend for some high-level tennis.”

The Hawkeyes and Buffalo’s have faced off several times in the past, with the Hawkeyes up 5-1 in the series. However, Sunday’s matchup will be the first between the teams since 1994.

Colorado comes to town with a spring record of 5-3 while the Hawkeyes sit at 2-4.

There is reason for optimism for the Sunday match, however. Iowa is 13-3 in the last 16 home-openers and 3-0 in such matches since Schmid took over in 2016.

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