Iowa tennis to compete in four weekend matches

The women’s tennis team will host both of their matches while the men travel out west.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s Kareem Allaf hits a forehand during a men’s tennis match between Iowa and Nebraska-Omaha at the HTRC on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Mavericks, 6-1.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Another week, another challenge for Iowa tennis.

Both the men’s and women’s Hawkeye tennis teams will be tested this weekend as they will each play in two head-to-head matches.

The women will host DePaul at 5 p.m. Friday and then Kansas State Sunday at noon. The matches will be only the second and third home contests of the year. Iowa’s women’s program lost its home opener 4-3 to Colorado last Sunday. The loss dropped their spring record to 2-5.

“Our challenging non-conference schedule continues as we have two solid teams coming into Iowa City this weekend,” head coach Sasha Schmid said in a release. “Both matches will be competitive test for us, and we are looking forward to the home matches.”

Iowa is 12-5 all-time against the Blue Demons and defeated DePaul 6-1 in last year’s meeting at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center. DePaul is an even 4-4 so far this year.

Iowa leads the all-time series with Kansas State 6-3 but lost last year’s matchup with the Wildcats, 4-1, in Manhattan, Kansas.

Although the Iowa women’s team’s record may not be what it wanted thus far, the team has won each time it has secured the doubles point.

“When we drop the doubles point against the good teams, we just have little margin, and we have to understand that as we go into singles a little bit better,” Schmid said following Iowa’s Feb. 6 loss.

RELATED: Iowa tennis’ home weekend yields two victories

The Iowa men — following an undefeated homestand last weekend with victories over Middle Tennessee State and Wichita State — will hit the road with battles against Utah at 2 p.m. Friday and Denver at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The matches will mark the first time in school history that an Iowa team enters competition nationally ranked inside the top 25.

After an impressive 7-1 start to the season — only dropping their first match of the spring to Texas Tech — the Hawkeyes currently sit 23rd in the national poll.

“It’s nice to be ranked inside the Top 25 for the first time in program history,” head coach Ross Wilson said in a release. “Our team knows it’s early in the year, and we have a lot of tennis to be played, but we are happy with the start of our season.”

The seven-match winning streak is the longest in 29 years for the men’s program.

Kareem Allaf is the 61st-ranked singles player in the country while the pair of Will Davies and Oliver Okonkwo are the 10th best doubles pair.

Allaf is 6-1 in singles overall this spring and 5-1 on court one. Davies and Okonkwo are 3-2 on the year.

Utah is 7-4 this season and have lost its last two matches. Iowa is 3-1 all-time against the Utes and defeated them 5-2 at home last year.

Denver, who is responsible for Utah’s loss last Thursday, enters the weekend at a perfect 8-0 and ranked 35th in the country. They will face Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday before the Hawkeyes come to town.

Iowa has beaten the Pioneers the last three times they have played, most recently getting a 5-2 win in 2018.

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