Hawkeye men’s tennis looks to end losing streak at Nebraska

Iowa could snap a five-match losing streak with a victory over winless Nebraska.


Grace Smith

Iowa’s coach, Ross Wilson, talks to player, Will Davies, as he sits in between sets during the Iowa Men’s tennis meet v. Wisconsin in the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Friday, March. 12, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers 5-2.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

Unlike previous weeks, this weekend will not be jam-packed with Iowa tennis action.

Sunday’s Iowa men’s tennis match against Nebraska will mark the only time any Hawkeye tennis players take the court until next week.

Iowa women’s tennis has the week off after capturing a crucial win against No. 37 Nebraska last weekend.

On Sunday the Hawkeye men will have a chance to end their five-match losing streak. Iowa currently sits at 4-9 on the season.

Around this time last year, the Hawkeyes were standing in completely different territory record-wise.

Before the 2019-20 season was canceled because of COVID-19, the Hawkeye men were 11-2 with wins over No. 35 Denver, No. 50 VCU, and No. 16 Cornell.

At that time, Iowa checked in at No. 20 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings — good for a program record.

Senior Kareem Allaf had suffered just one loss in 14 singles matches, and junior Will Davies was riding an 11-match win streak.

Now, the Hawkeyes are under .500. Allaf — who entered the 2020-21 season ranked 39th nationally as an individual — has lost three of his last four matches, amounting to a 4-6 overall record on the year.

After a hot start to this season, Davies, who was named to the All-Big Ten second team last year, has lost his last three bouts.

Davies’ British brethren, Joe Tyler and Oliver Okonkwo, are also struggling. Okonkwo has tallied just four singles wins, and Tyler is 6-6 on the season.

RELATED: Iowa women’s tennis secures its best win since 2010

The Hawkeyes suffered most in doubles.

The Hawkeyes have the No. 10 doubles pair in the nation in Okonkwo-Davies. Yet, Iowa has only claimed the doubles point twice in its last eight matchups.

Iowa has also been hurting at the bottom of the lineup as freshmen Peter Alam and Rudra Dixit have only produced one win combined in the No. 6 spot in the Hawkeyes’ lineup.

This weekend, the Hawkeyes may get a brief reprieve from their woes, as they have already defeated the Cornhuskers once this season.

Nebraska has not won a single match this year, and it has not even put a point on the board in its last three matches. The Cornhuskers have not won a doubles point since their first match of the season against Purdue, either.

Nebraska has just one player with a winning record, Shunya Maruyama. Maruyama has lost three-straight matches since he was dropped from the top spot in the Cornhuskers’ lineup to the No. 2 position.

Victor Moreno Lozano is Nebraska’s top player, but the junior from Madrid, Spain, has not won a single match this season.

The Hawkeye men’s team will take on Nebraska at noon on Easter Sunday at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center in Lincoln.