Hoosiers Upset No. 39 Penn State on the Road
March 27, 2006
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Indiana men's tennis team continued its seven-match winning streak with a 6-1 upset of No. 39 Penn State on March 27. IU claimed the doubles point and then swept the top five singles positions on its way to knocking off its first top-40 opponent on the road in three years. The win also marked the first conference victory of the season for the Hoosiers as they moved to 12-6 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play. In claiming its seventh straight win, Indiana snapped Penn State's six-match streak as the Nittany Lions fell to 11-2 overall and 1-2 in conference action.
"Obviously, this is a good win for us," Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "Penn State was ranked 39th coming in and had some wins over good teams, so it was nice for us to beat them 6-1 on their home court. I really feel like we are coming together as a team. We are making progress toward developing team unity. The guys fought hard to pull this one out. "
The win over Penn State was the Hoosiers first over a ranked foe this season. All six IU losses have come at the hands of ranked opponents. The last time IU defeated a top-40 opponent on the road was Jan. 24, 2003, when it knocked off then-No. 27 Notre Dame, 4-3.
The doubles point came down to the No. 3 position. Penn State won at the No. 2 slot, while the Hoosier duo of senior Dmytro Ishtuganov and sophomore Dara McLoughlin won its ninth match of the season at the No. 1 position. The IU tandem defeated Mark Barry and Adam Slagter, 8-5, to improve to 2-1 in conference action. Senior Neil Kenner and sophomore Michael McCarthy claimed the IU point with a tiebreaker victory at the No. 3 position. The pair defeated Malcolm Scatliffe and James Dwyer, 9-8, for its fifth straight win as a duo.
Ishtuganov captured the No. 1 singles position with a straight-set win over reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week Barry, 6-3, 7-5. The win bumped Ishtuganov's season mark to 17-11 and marked his 10th dual-match victory of the season.
"Dmytro did a great job at No. 1 singles," Hydinger said. "Mark Barry is a guy who likes to hit ground strokes, and Dmytro did a good job of throwing a lot of variety at him. He hit the guy with both some touch and hard volleys."
Junior David Bubenicek nailed down his third straight victory in straight sets. The Czech Republic native downed Scatliffe at the No. 2 singles position, 6-3, 6-1, to improve to 17-7 on the year.
"David played a very tough senior for Penn State at No. 2," Hydinger said. "It was a good match for him, and I don't think he made too many mistakes."
McLouglin continued to ride a hot streak as he won the clincher for IU at the No. 3 slot. He ran his season-long winning streak to nine matches with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Berger. The win also was the first Big Ten singles victory in McLoughlin's Hoosier career as he improved to 18-11 on the year.
"Dara came in with the clincher for us at No. 3," Hydinger said. "He is playing tougher and tougher every time he goes out there. He worked his ground strokes hard and did a good job of defending out of the corners. He is hitting the shots he needs to get wins."
Senior Neil Kenner and sophomore Michael McCarthy rounded out the Hoosier victories in singles. Kenner avenged an earlier loss this season to Slagter with a straight-set win, 6-1, 6-4, to run his season mark to 12-9. On Nov. 13, 2005, Slagter defeated Kenner, 6-4, 6-4, in the consolation bracket at the Big Ten Singles Championship.
McCarthy won his fifth three-set match of the season, 6-4, 6-7, 1-0, over Brendan Lynch at the No. 5 singles spot. The win moved McCarthy into a tie with McLoughlin for the team lead in singles wins with 18.
The Hoosiers continue conference play at home with a pair of matches on March 31 and April 2. Indiana will battle Wisconsin on Friday, March 31, at 2 p.m., before facing No. 50 Northwestern at noon on Sunday, April 2.
"We are looking at these next three matches as a mini season," Hydinger said. "We won the first one on the road and now we have two against Wisconsin and Northwestern at home. It is always nice to get a win on the road in the Big Ten. It was a good day's work for us."
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