Ishtuganov Drops Tight Three-Setter in Big Ten Title Match
Nov. 14, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Dmytro Ishtuganov wrapped up the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships by dropping a difficult three-set match in the championship, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, to Nolan Polly of Wisconsin. The Hoosiers entered the final day of competition at the Michigan State Indoor Tennis Center with half of the semifinalists as both Ishtuganov and sophomore Dara McLoughlin won four matches over the previous two days to advance to the final four.
"This tournament was a good building block for us," Indiana head men's tennis coach Ken Hydinger said. "We talked about really making some things happen in this tournament and getting guys to step it up to another level. I was proud of the way Dara and Dmytro both played in making it to the semifinals."
"Polly is a strong lefty with a big serve," Hydinger said. "He didn't miss a serve in the first set and was very good. Dmytro worked him pretty hard in the second set and won. The third set, I think Dmytro got off his game plan a little bit, got down a break early and couldn't come back. It was a closely contested match."
Polly opened the day by knocking off the 15th-seeded McLoughlin in straight sets. The two Big Ten foes went to a tiebreaker before Polly claimed the first set, 7-6 (3). The Wisconsin Badger took the second set, 6-3, over the McLoughlin to advance to the finals.
Ishtuganov, the 13th-seeded player in the tournament, advanced to the finals with a victory over sixth-seeded Bryan Koneicko of Ohio State. The Kiev, Ukraine, native cruised past the 120th-ranked player in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Ishtuganov finished the fall season at 7-4.
"Dmytro played a very good opponent in the semifinals," Hydinger said. "He played a beautiful match and controlled it. He had great control from the baseline and he served well. He did a good job of moving his volleys. The guy he played came in ready, knowing what Dmytro wanted to do, but I felt Dmytro didn't allow him to do some things he wanted to do. He played excellent tennis and had a convincing victory."
"This was a long tournament and Dmytro played a lot of good matches," Hydinger said. "He has shown a lot of improvement over last season. He is playing smart tennis and doing it both physically and mentally. Dmytro had a very solid fall. He has been playing very consistent and quality tennis. He has also done a good job of showing a lot of variety in his game. I think the biggest challenge is still ahead for Dmytro. He is a guy who hasn't played a lot in the past, but has been hungry to get the opportunity. Now he has had success, but he can't be satisfied and full. He is going to be facing challenges from guys that are hungrier and coming at him."
The Big Ten Indoor Singles Championship concluded the Hoosiers' fall season. Indiana opens the spring season with a home doubleheader on Jan. 21. IU will face Butler at 9 a.m. in the Indiana Tennis Center followed by a 3:30 p.m. affair with Bradley.
15th-seeded Dara McLoughlin
13th-seeded Dmytro Ishtuganov
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