Bested by Middle Tennessee
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.- The No. 67 Indiana men's tennis team dropped a close 4-3 decision to No. 57 Middle Tennessee State on Saturday evening in the IU Varsity Tennis Center.
"I thought our guys played hard tonight. I thought Middle Tennessee played even harder." Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "I just think that we have to compete a little more to get the job done. You win the doubles point at home, you have to know how to close out a match."
The Hoosiers opened the contest by garnering the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. The Blue Raiders won the first doubles contest of the day as the duo of redshirt sophomore Marco Born and sophomore Andreas Silijestrom, ranked 68th in the country, won 8-5, against senior Ryan Recht and John Stone at the top position.
The Hoosiers came back with victories at the other two spots. Senior Jakub Praibis and junior Dmytro Ishtuganov defeated junior Brandon Allan and sophomore Kai Schledorn, the 28th-ranked squad in the nation, 8-6, at No. 2, and freshmen Michael McCarthy and Dara McLoughlin won, 8-4, over seniors Anant Sitaram and Greg Pollack at No. 3.
"Third doubles played really well today," Hydinger said. "Those two [Dara McLoughlin and Michael McCarthy] made a lot of good returns. They hit sharp volleys. They had good energy and are really coming on."
McCarthy gave Indiana a 2-0 edge with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Sitaram at No. 3.
The Blue Raiders won four-straight matches, including a three-setter for the deciding point.
Born won 6-3, 6-4, over Recht at No. 2, and Allan defeated Stone, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 6. Pollack upended senior Tom Bagnato, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5 to give MTSU a 3-2 advantage.
Schledorn won 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, over junior Neil Kenner at No. 3 to clinch the match for Middle Tennessee.
Praibis, ranked 61st in the country, defeated Siljestrom, ranked 68th in singles, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 5-7, at the top spot. The Litomerice, Czech Republic, product is now 4-0 at the No. 1 singles slot this spring and has beaten a pair of nationally ranked oppoenents.
"Jakub had a super day today," Hydinger said. "He competed very hard and did a great job."
The Hoosiers will be back in action next weekend with a pair of matches against ranked opponents. The Hoosiers will face No. 10 Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., and No. 65 N.C. State on Sunday, Feb. 13, at noon.
#57 Middle Tennessee 4, #67 Indiana 3
1. #58 Marco Born/Andreas Siljestrom (MTSU) def. Ryan Recht/John Stone (IU) 8-5
2. Jakub Praibis/Dmytro Ishtuganov (IU) def. #29 Kai Schledorn/Brandon Allan (MTSU) 8-6
3. Dara McLoughlin/Michael McCarthy (IU) def. Anant Sitaram/Greg Pollack (MTSU) 8-4
1. #61 Jakub Praibis (IU) def. #68 Andreas Siljestrom (MTSU) 7-6, 4-6, 7-5
2. Marco Born (MTSU) def. Ryan Recht (IU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Kai Schledorn (MTSU) def. Neil Kenner (IU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
4. Michael McCarthy (IU) def. Anant Sitaram (MTSU) 6-0, 6-4
5. Greg Pollack (MTSU) def. Tom Bagnato (IU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Brandon Allan (MTSU) def. John Stone (IU) 6-4, 6-4
Middle Tennessee 4-1; National ranking #57
Indiana 2-2; National ranking #67
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,6,5,3,1)
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