February 13, 2002
Indiana Hits the Road to Battle Blue Raiders
On the Road Again
Senior Milan Rakvica looks to continue his winning streak against Middle Tennessee State.
Indiana hits the road for the second time this year when it travels to take on the 4-0 Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. The match carries a 10 a.m. start time and will be played in the Murfreesboro Racquet Club. The trip will mark the second time the Hoosiers have taken to the road this year.
Inside the Numbers
Indiana holds a 3-1 advantage all-time against the Blue Raiders, including a 3-0 mark in Murfreesboro. The two teams last met in 1985, with the Hoosiers downing Middle Tennessee, 7-1.
Both squads are ranked heading into the encounter, with the Hoosiers ranked-54th and the Blue Raiders boasting a No. 28 ranking.
Complete match results will be made available on the web at iuhoosiers.com following the event. Results can be viewed and printed out by choosing the mens tennis link from the main menu. For more information, contact Kris Sears at (812) 855-9399 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana Coaching Staff
Ken Hydinger is in his 18th season as head coach of the Hoosiers with an overall record of 269-175-1 and a 116-88 mark in Big Ten play. In his 17 seasons at Indiana, Hydinger has led four teams to 20-win seasons and only two of his teams have finished with a sub-.500 record. Hydinger has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year once (1992), has produced 23 all-Big Ten Players and two Big Ten Freshman of the Year award winners.
Coach Hydinger is assisted by Ondrej Holik, who returns for his fourth season at IU. A native of the Czech Republic, Holik competed at the Technical University Ostrava until arriving in the United States after his junior year in college. Before coming to IU, Holik played for the Broncos of Western Michigan University.
Commenting on upcoming opponent Middle Tennessee State:
Well, they beat Louisiville, 6-1, who beat us, and they beat a tough Indiana State team, 4-3, on the road. We are going to have our hands full going to play them at their place.
Last weekend we played the best we have all season, even though we lost. Every match went three sets, and it was the best we have played top to bottom all year, even though we were playing short handed.
Commenting on traveling into a tough environment:
You face a lot of challenges to be successful when traveling into a tough environment. The environment is important because in the Big Ten as well as the Big Ten and NCAA Championships, you have to go on the road and win.
It will be important to see how we adjust and control our environment. It will be interesting to see how much we learned from Louisville.
Commenting on Rahman Smileys injured back:
He is doing better, and he will play doubles for us. We will not have him for the singles.
Commenting on playing highly ranked players:
Owen Collins, who played at Indiana and was an Olympian, said, The human body only hits it so hard. Rankings are one thing , but people are one thing. Once you lock horns, rankings dont matter.
The Hoosiers will not only face the No. 28 ranked team in the country, but they will square off against some highly-ranked individulas. At the No. 1 singles position, No. 87 Milan Rakvica will square off against No. 12 Daniel Klemetz of Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders also bring in 27th-ranked Robert Gustafsson at the No. 2 position, and 102nd-ranked Oliver Foreman at the No. 3 singles spots.
Middle Tennesse also brings in two doubles squads ranked in the top 35. Foreman and Gustafsson are ranked ninth by the ITA , while teammates Klemetz and Kirk Jackson carry a No. 34 ranking.
The Hoosiers and Blue Raiders have faced a common foe this season, the Louisville Cardinals. While the Hoosiers fell at Louisville, 5-2, the Blue Raiders ousted the Cardinals at home, 6-1.
Freshman Jakub Praibis, normally IUs No. 3 singles player, filled in for the injuried Rahman Smiley (back) and picked the a come from behind 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 win against Chad Harris of Vanderbilt. Praibis has racked up a 3-0 record while filling at the No. 2 position for Smiley. Praibis currently sits at 6-1 on the year.
Despite trailing 3-1 to the Vanderbilt Commodores, the Hoosiers mustered up the stamina to even the match before falling,
Senior Milan Rakvica, freshman Jakub Praibis, and junior Zach Held all battled back from one set down to force three set matches. Rakvica and Praibis both picked up wins. Held put up a strong fight, but fell in the third, 6-4.
Closing in on the Record Books
Senior Milan Rakvica now sits in seventh-place on the Hoosiers career singles wins list with 85. He also is currently in eighth- place on the all-time doubles wins list with 64.
All-time Singles wins
1. Sven Salumaa- 108
2. Gunnar Salumaa - 106
3. David McCallum - 98
4. Eion Collins - 95
5. David Russell - 88
6. Paul Jacobson - 86
7. Milan Rakvica - 85
8. David Held - 82
9. Ian Arons - 77
9. Charles Wright - 77
9. Andrew Held - 77
All-time Doubles wins
1. Gunnar Salumaa - 77
2. David McCallum - 75
2. Derek Pope - 75
4 Gabriel Montilla - 73
5. Erik Barrett - 71
6. Ian Arons - 70
7. Tom Weise - 65
8. Milan Rakvica - 64
9. David Held - 62
10. Andrew Held - 61
Monkey Off His Back
Freshman Ryan Recht got the monkey off his back by picking up his first dual match victory of his collegiate career. Recht defeated Lewis Smith of Vanderbilt, 6-4, 7-6, in a hard fough match. He now sits at 6-9 on the year.
Last weekend, the Hoosiers failed to field a lineup where they were firing on all cylinders. Five of the Hoosiers top eight players are slowed due to injury. Senior Rahman Smiley (back), junior Zach Held (calf), and freshman Ryan Recht (groin) all sat out a match this past weekend due to injury. Freshman Jakub Praibis (wrist) and senior Milan Rakvica both played despite icing injuries after the match.
Heart of a Champion
After not practing all week and not playing singles in the first match of the weekend and doubles in the second, senior Rahman Smiley won his match against the Murray State Racers. Smiley played despite a severe back injury and defeated Thiago Gondim, 6-4, 7-5.
Finding New Ways to Win
For the first time this season, the Hoosiers dropped the doubles point against the Southwest Missouri State Bears. The Hoosiers followed suit by losing the point against Murray State as well. Despite losing both points, the Hoosiers won four of the six and five of the six singles matches against the Bears and Racers, respectively, to win both matches.
Helping from the Bottom
The Hoosiers got a huge pick up from freshman Tommy Bagnato and senior Ari Widlansky at the bottom of the lineup. Bagnato won both of his matches in dominating fashing, first ousting SMSs Rishi Garbharran, 6-2, 6-1, playing No. 4 singles. He then bounced Mike Schmidbauer of Murray State, 6-0, 6-2, at the No. 5 position.
Widlansky did the same to his opponents against the Bears and Racers. He first beat Predrag Pavlicic of Southwest Missouri State, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 5 singles spot. He then knocked off Murray States Bryan Meuer at the No. 6 position, 6-0, 6-2.
Home Sweet Home
All five of the Hoosiers victories this season have come at home. Before its match with Ball State, Indiana had only dropped one point on its home court.
Leading the Way
Leadership starts at the top and works its way down. With only four upperclassmen and nine freshman, Coach Ken Hydinger has selected senior Rahman Smiley and junior Zach Held as the captains for this years squad.
The Hoosiers have won every doubles point this season. IU is headed by the No. 3 spot in which Indiana has used two combinations to remain perfect. Senior Ari Widlansky and freshman Reid Strand won the first match for the Hoosiers at the No. 3 doubles spot, while freshmen Jakub Praibis and Strand took home the last three matches.
Getting Back on Track
Senior Milan Rakvica got back on track with a straight sets victory over Ball States Jason Pressel. After being hampered by back problems during the fall season, Rakvica is off to a 3-1 start this spring. He finished the fall part of the schedule with a record of 6-4.
After his 6-4, 6-0 victory over Pressel, Rakvica had this to say. "I think I played my best tennis that I have played all year today. My serve was really on and stayed in. I also had great ground strokes. It was just a good win for us today.
Senior Rahman Smiley has been solid as a rock for the Hoosiers at the No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles spots. Smiley has teamed with freshman Ryan Recht to win all three spring doubles matches. Smiley has also won two straight singles match including the teams lone singles victory against Louisville. He sat out the Toledo singles because of soreness in his shoulder. The Union, New Jersey native is currently 0-6 in singles and 7-3 in doubles this season.
With 68 career singles victories Smiley is only 9 victories away from cracking IUs top 10 list in career wins. He is also only seven doubles victories away from breaking into that career top 10. Smiley currently has a 54-38 record as a doubles player for his career.
The Hoosiers play five freshmen in their top eight positions. In singles the Hoosiers start a line-up that includes freshmen at the No. 3, No. 5 and 6 spots. In doubles, freshman Ryan Recht plays No. 1 doubles with senior Rahman Smiley, and at the third doubles spot the Hoosiers use the freshmen duo of Reid Strand and Jakub Praibis.
Recht has a doubles record of 11-4 this season including a 7-3 record with Smiley as his partner. The doubles team of Strand and Praibis are 4-1 as a team this spring. In singles, freshman Tommy Bagnato is 4-1 this spring and 10-8 overall. Praibis is also 5-1 this spring after joining the Hoosiers mid-season.
Indiana wrapped up the doubles point in their first four matches this spring. The Hoosiers were a combined 10-2 during the run, including sweeps of Toledo and Bowling Green in the opening weekend.
IU has used only four combination during the spring season. The Hoosiers started their first match with a doubles line-up of freshman Ryan Recht/senior Rahman Smiley at No. 1, junior Zach Held/senior Milan Rakvica at No. 2, and the third pair of freshman Reid Strand/senior Ari Widlansky. The only change the Hoosiers incurred was in the third spot where freshmen Jakub Praibis and Strand have played the last two matches.
In the spring opener, the Hoosiers gained both doubles points against Toledo and Bowling Green by winning all six doubles matches.
The Hoosier duos of freshman Ryan Recht/senior Rahman Smiley and junior Zach Held/senior Milan Rakvica both went 2-0. Freshman Reid Strand combined with senior Ari Widlansky to defeat Toledo, 8-5. Then Strand and freshmen Jakub Praibis downed Bowling Green, 8-3.
After the fall season, senior Milan Rakvica was ranked 87th by the ITA and 19th in the Midwest Region. Last weekend against the Falcons of Bowling Green, Rakvica upended Bowling Greens ace and 70-ranked Geoff Hiscox in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Stepping up in the Clutch
The Hoosiers juggled around the line-up after senior Rahman Smiley came up with a sore shoulder during his doubles match against Toledo. Indiana then bumped up freshmen Jakub Praibis to No. 2, junior Zach Held to No. 3, freshman Jon Magnes to No. 4, senior Ari Widlansky to No. 5 and freshman Tommy Bagnato into the final singles spot. Everyone responded with a victory as the Hoosiers posted a 7-0 shutout.
Freshman Jakub Praibis opened some eyes in his first match as a Hoosier. The Czech Republic native came back from down one set to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the No. 2 singles spot.
Digging it out
Senior Milan Rakvica dug himself out of a hole against Dipesh Rao of Toledo. After winning the first set 7-5, Rakvica then lost the second set 6-4 before coming back to win the third, 7-6 (3), in a tie-breaker. Rakvica overcame a 5-4 deficit to win the final set.
Rolling on Top
IUs tandem of junior Zach Held and senior Milan Rakvica are a hardy 6-0 as a team this season. The Indiana duo of freshman Ryan Recht and senior Rahman Smiley have a similarly impressive record at 6-1.
New to the Program
The Hoosiers recently added two new recruits to the mix. Freshmen Jakub Praibis and Jullien Vulliez have joined IU at mid-season and will add to the depth of the team. Praibis joins the Hoosiers via the Czech Republic and Vulliez from Paris, France.
The Hoosiers return only four players from last seasons NCAA Tournament team. Seniors Milan Rakvica, Rahman Smiley, Ari Widlansky, and junior Zach Held are the lone returners. Nine freshmen make up the rest of Indianas rosters.
Wet Behind the Ears
The Hoosier freshmen racked up some impressive records during the fall season. Ryan Recht collected a singles record of 5-6 and a doubles record of 7-2 during the fall. Recht teamed with senior Rahman Smiley to advance to the finals of the Clemson Classic Doubles tournament and then paired with junior Zach Held advancing to the finals of the Bracket A Doubles of the Louisville Invitational. Jon Magnes had a strong performance at the Clemson Classic placing fourth (out of 64) on his way to a 6-2 fall singles record. Tommy Bagnato posted a singles record of 6-7 this fall and was labeled the most consistent freshman by Coach Hydinger. Efriam Kandinov amassed a fall singles record of 4-3, while advancing to the finals of the Flight B Bracket at the Louisville Invitational.
Two is Better than One
The Hoosiers have a set of twins on the squad this season. Efriam and Michael Kandinov hail from Jamaica Estates, N.Y. The duo finished their prep career ranked No. 22 nationally in doubles. Efriam advanced to the fifth round of the National Open Singles tournament in Florida this past summer. Michael also participated in the event.
Indianapolis, Ind. native Zach Held is now comfortably at home. After spending one season at Michigan, he transferred to IU, where his two older brothers (David, 1990-93, and Andrew, 1995-97) spent their collegiate days.
The senior duo of Milan Rakvica and Rahman Smiley were seeded in the top 12 at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships. Rakvica was the second-ranked player, while Smiley came in seeded 12th.
Big Ten Killer
Senior Rahman Smiley has killed Big Ten competition going 21-12 for his career. Last season, Smiley became only the 11th Hoosier to win 10 matches in Big Ten play. With two more wins in conference play he will move into 10th place on the all-time Big Ten wins list.