Davies & Okonkwo look to send Iowa Men’s Tennis program out on a high note
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - To have success together on the court, it helps that Iowa senior Will Davies and junior Ollie Okonkwo connect so well off of it.
“I’m still pretty immature now but he really helped me get like guide me through that freshman year,” Okonkwo said. “I had some ups and downs and he’s always been there for me. So, kind of like an older brother I never had,”
Both hail from England and had never met until coming to Iowa. Davies, a year older, knew he wanted Okonkwo as a partner right away.
“Obviously it’s just spiraled from there and we’re now ending our third year pretty strong,” Davies said.
The duo were ranked as high as No. 2 overall in mid-April and finished the season 10-2, enough to earn an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program since 1989.
“From day one that Ollie and I started playing together, this was our main goal,” Davies said. ”Make yourselves known and get to the NCAAs”
Their success came at a time with great adversity. The program was one of four cut by the University last fall, making the national tournament their last collegiate competition together.
“It took us a while to come to terms with the decisions made. I don’t think anyone has any real like angst towards the powers that be, who made the decision anymore,” Davies explained.
Throughout the season, the team has refrained from wearing Hawkeye colors on their shirts in protest. As for the national tournament, Davies and Okonkwo say that decision hasn’t been made yet, their focus is giving it their all.
“If we’re gonna go out, we’re gonna go out with a bang.” Okonkwo said. “We want to do the best we could even before we got the news earlier this year. We spoke quite often over the summer about the goals we had and what we needed to do to achieve them.”
The NCAA Tennis Championships will be held from May 23-28 in Orlando, Florida.
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