This Week The No. 45 Indiana men's tennis team (4-0 overall) looks to remain perfect when it comes home to face No. 37 Louisville at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Memphis at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the IU Tennis Center.
The Cardinals are the third team ranked higher than Indiana that the Hoosiers have faced this year, with IU having defeated the others (No. 27 Notre Dame and No. 37 Middle Tennessee).
Hoosiers Crack Top 50 Off to a 4-0 start, including a road win over No. 27 Notre Dame and a 7-0 defeat of No. 37 Middle Tennessee, Indiana has gone from unranked to the No. 45 team in the nation in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, released January 29. The Hoosiers have not been ranked this high since May of 2001, when they earned a No. 45 national ranking.
The Wins Just Keep On Coming Indiana rolled to a 7-0 win over North Carolina State at the IU Tennis Center last week. The Hoosiers swept all three doubles matches and were perfect in singles as well, marking the third 7-0 win for Indiana in its first four matches.
No. 45 Indiana-7, North Carolina State-0
1) Jakub Praibis (IU) def. R.J. Murray (N.C. State); 6-3, 6-2
2) Viktor Libal (IU) def. Val Bamada (N.C. State); 6-4, 7-6 (2)
3) Petr Novotny (IU) def. Will Shaw (N.C. State); 6-1, 6-1
4) Zach Held (IU) def. Rehmam Esmail (N.C. State); 6-3, 7-6 (3)
5) Ryan Recht (IU) def. Jon Davis (N.C. State); 6-3, 6-2
6) Julien Vulliez (IU) def. Jirou Nakajima (N.C. State); 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-2
Don't Get Too Content The Hoosiers would be wise to not get too wrapped up in its hot streak, because a very difficult slate of opponents still awaits.
Of Indiana's 22 dual matches this spring, seven are against teams ranked in the national top 30 in the preseason ITA poll, 15 are ranked among the top 51 teams in the nation and 17 are ranked in the top 75.
Hydinger To Miss Spring Indiana men's tennis head coach Ken Hydinger will miss the Spring dual match season, as he is currently on administrative leave.
Assistant coach Matthew Pledger will step in and serve as the interim head coach.
Hydinger will resume his head coaching duties on July 1.
"This is something that we have done by coach's request," Interim Athletic Director Terry Clapacs said. "I support that, and the well-being of our coaches is paramount to Indiana University."
"I am very appreciative of Mr. Clapacs' understanding," Hydinger said. "I very much look forward to getting back into things in July."
About Pledger Matthew Pledger joins the Hoosiers in his first season as an assistant coach. Prior to coming to Indiana Pledger served as the head tennis professional at Middletown Tennis Club in Middletown, Ohio. There he was responsible for Junior Development and the growth of the future tennis program.
Pledger graduated from Mississippi State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management, with a minor in Business.
At Mississippi State Pledger was named to the All-Southeastern Conference tennis team on two occasions and in 1997 earned First Team All-American honors. Academically Pledger excelled as well, earning Academic All-South Eastern Conference on twice.
Pledger has a wealth of experience touring professionally. From 1997-2000 he competed on the ATP Tour, the Challenger Circuit, and the Futures Circuit. During this stint Pledger obtained a doubles rankings of 256 in the world and a singles ranking of 653.
"I am very excited to be here," Pledger said. "I feel that this is going to be great fit for myself. I think that it is going to be an exciting year and I have a lot to offer the program."
What's Next Following Saturday's match, the Hoosiers will be back in action at noon (CST) when they open their Big Ten slate at N0. 39 Northwestern.