Hoosiers Hit the Road For a Pair Against Top-40 Competition
Feb. 8, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 60 Indiana men's tennis team will hit the road for the first time in 2006 with a pair of contests against ranked foes. The Hoosiers will travel to No. 32 Louisville on Friday, Feb. 10 at noon, before they head to No. 39 Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m.
Indiana will ride a four-match winning streak into the road contests. IU swept a pair of doubleheaders at the Indiana Tennis Center on Jan. 21 and Jan. 28.
Scouting No. 32 Louisville
The Cardinals opened with a victory over then-No. 51 Northwestern (5-2) and followed it with wins over Morehead State (7-0) and Southern Illinois (7-0). The two blemishes on the Louisville slate came at the hands of top-10 foes. U of L dropped a 7-0 decision at then-No. 3 Georgia, before it fell to then-No. 6 Mississippi, 6-1.
Rex Ecarma is in his 16th season as the head coach of the Cardinals. He has led Louisville to a 226-170 mark in those 16 years. Last season, the Cardinals finished the year ranked 40th and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Robert Rotaru leads team with 12-5 record, including a 2-1 dual match mark at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Slavko Radman is 3-2 in dual matches while playing at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions. He is 1-1 playing at the No. 1 position. Damar Johnson has also played at the No. 1 position with a 2-2 mark. Jakob Gustafsson and Jeremy Clark comprised the Cardinals top doubles team with an 11-5 record. The duo is 4-2 at the No. 1 position in dual matches.
IU is 14-3 all-time against Louisville, but the Cardinals have won three of the last five matches. All three of those losses for IU came at Louisville, where the Hoosiers are 5-3 all-time. Last season, the then-No. 70 Hoosiers defeated the then-No. 26 Cardinals, 5-2, in Bloomington. Sophomore Michael McCarthy and junior David Bubenicek were both victorious at the No. 4 and No. 5 singles positions, respectively.
Haven't We Seen You Before
Seniors Dmytro Ishtuganov and Neil Kenner won at the top doubles position 8-3 over Jeremy Clark and Stefan Naughton. Ishtuganov, Kenner, sophomore Michael McCarthy and junior David Bubenicek were all victorious in singles action.
Scouting No. 39 Middle Tennessee State
The Blue Raiders are led by Dale Short who is in his 19th year at the helm. In those years, Short has guided the program to 11 conference championships and seven NCAA Tournament appearances. Last season, he earned Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors.
In 2006, the Blue Raiders own 7-0 wins over Chattanooga and Belmont. In its last affair, MTSU fell on the road at then-No. 56 Virginia Tech, 4-3. In all three matches, Middle Tennessee State has won the doubles point.
Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born are the top two players for MTSU. Both players have a 10-7 overall mark this season. The duo, who both stand 6-foot, 9-inches, also combined to make up the third-ranked doubles team nationally. The tandem is 12-3 on the year. Both have played at the No. 1 singles positions this season with Born going 2-0 and Siljestrom at 1-0. In the latest ITA Rankings, Siljestrom was ranked No. 48 while Born was No. 97.
Indiana is 5-3 all-time against Middle Tennessee State, but have a 4-1 mark in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Hoosiers dropped a tight, 4-3, affair to then-No. 57 MTSU in Bloomington last season. IU won the doubles points and sophomore Michael McCarthy won at the No. 4 singles position.
Different Combination, Same Results
Perfect in Duals
Holding Down the Top
As a sophomore and junior in 2004 and 2005, respectively, the Kiev, Ukraine native racked up 20-plus doubles victories in each season. He saw his most extensive time in the lineup last season, going 12-7 overall and 6-3 in dual matches. His senior season has been a much different story. He opened the spring season with wins at the No. 1 singles position in leading IU to a pair of doubleheader sweep. He is 11-4 overall and his 11 singles victories are tied for the team lead with sophomore Michael McCarthy.
Ishtuganov has continued his strong doubles play. He finished the fall season ranked ninth in the Midwest Region with fellow classmate Neil Kenner. And his nine doubles wins along with Kenner is tied for the team lead.
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