Hoosiers Drop Hard Fought Affair
April 23, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In a marathon of a match, the No. 58 Indiana men's tennis team fell painstakingly short, 4-3, to No. 39 Michigan at the IU Varsity Tennis Courts on April 23. The match took four hours and 45 minutes before a Michigan victory at the No. 6 singles position gave the Wolverines the win on Senior Day. The match was the final home contest in the career of seniors Neil Kenner, Dmytro Ishtuganov and manager Daniel Schoch. The Hoosiers fell to 16-9 on the year and 5-5 in Big Ten play.
"I couldn't be more proud of how hard the guys fought today," Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "Sometimes you can do everything right, and it just does not go your way. I can't say enough good things about Neil, Dmytro and Daniel. They have been invaluable to this program and this institution."
With the match even at three, the outcome came down to the No. 6 position. Junior Arnaud Roussel and Michigan's Scott Bruckmann split the first two sets with Roussel claiming the second, 6-3, and Bruckmann taking the first in a tiebreaker. Roussel appeared to be in control of the match leading, 5-4, after the two players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games. The momentum came to a screeching halt for the junior transfer. On the opening point of his service game, Roussel experience serve cramps in his quadriceps, and the match was delayed while Roussel received medical attention. Bruckmann took advantage as he went on to break Roussel twice over the next three games and claim the decisive third set, 7-5, and the team victory for Michigan.
"Arnaud had that guy beat," Hydinger said. "Had he not cramped up, Arnaud would have won the match. He was mentally tougher and playing more disciplined than his opponent. He broke his opponent's game down and slowed it down, but he cramped up and that really limited him."
The Hoosiers dung themselves an early hole as Michigan swept the doubles to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Neil Kenner quickly evened things up for IU with the only straight-set victory of the day. Kenner won his ninth straight match of the season, 6-4, 6-3, over Mike Peretz at the No. 4 position. The win improved Kenner's season mark to 18-9 overall and 7-2 in conference action.
Sophomore Dara McLoughlin claimed his team-leading 22nd victory at the No. 3 position, giving IU a 2-1 cushion. McLoughlin won his ninth three-set match of the season, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, over Andrew Mazlin. He improved to 6-4 in Big Ten singles competition.
After three-set victories at the No. 5 and No. 1 positions gave Michigan a 3-2 lead, junior David Bubenicek knotted the match at three to set up the dramatics at No. 6. Bubenicek improved to 21-10 overall with a 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-3 win at the No. 2 slot over Ryan Heller. He evened his Big Ten record at 5-5 on the year, while notching his 15th dual-match victory of the season.
The Hoosiers return to action at the Big Ten Championship in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 27-30. The seeds and match times will be released early next week.
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