Lack of singles depth

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s tennis program is a week away from its final Big Ten Tournament, and the Hawkeyes haven’t exactly met expectations this year, posting a 5-12 regular season record.

Iowa suffered its worst losing streak since 2014 this season. The eight-match stretch of losses is the longest the Hawkeyes have endured under the watchful eye of head coach Ross Wilson.

A lack of singles depth has been Iowa’s Achilles’ heel all year.

After 17 regular season matches, the Hawkeyes have totaled just three wins out of the No. 5 and No. 6 slots in their lineup.

When the Hawkeyes were nationally ranked last season, they went 8-4 out of the No. 6 spot.

Senior Jason Kerst has been solid as Iowa’s No. 6 before, boasting a 18-9 record at the bottom of the Hawkeyes’ lineup.

Sophomore Nikita Snehzkho and freshmen Peter Alam and Rudra Dixit have all tallied zero wins in singles this season.

So, Wilson has been forced to move Kerst into the No. 5 position in the Hawkeyes’ lineup. In the No. 5 spot, Kerst has struggled all year.

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In nearly every match the Hawkeyes have played this season, Iowa’s top four players have been forced to play from behind, as the Hawkeyes’ No. 5 and No. 6 players have not found much success at any point this year.

If Iowa is to draw its final season out longer than a couple more matches, the Hawkeyes will need to quickly improve their singles play, particularly in the No. 5 and No. 6 positions.

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