Men's Tennis

    Hoosiers Return Home to Battle Purple Aces

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    News Update

    February 20, 2002

    Indiana Returns Home to Battle Purple Aces

    Current News Photo
    Freshman Ryan Recht looks to keep his winning streak going against the Purple Aces.
    Back Home Again
    Indiana returns to the friendly confines of the Indiana Tennis Center to do battle the Purple Aces of Evansville. The Purple Aces entered into the match with a 3-1 record, while the Hoosiers come in with a 5-3 mark, including a two-match losing streak.

    Inside the Numbers
    Indiana holds an 8-0 advantage all-time against the Purple Aces, including a 6-0 mark in Bloomington. The two teams last met on March 15, 1997 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers swept the Aces, 7-0, that day.
    Indiana enters the match ranked 57th in the country according to the the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings. Evansville is currently not ranked.

    Match Results
    Complete match results will be made available on the web at following the event. Results can be viewed and printed out by choosing the men's tennis link from the main menu. For more information, contact Kris Sears at (812) 855-9399 or through email at

    Indiana Coaching Staff
    Ken Hydinger is in his 18th season as head coach of the Hoosiers with an overall record of 269-177-1 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.

    Coach's Comments
    Commenting on upcoming opponent Evansville:
    "I think they are a good team. They are in the Missouri Valley Conference. We played Southwest Missouri State from there, and it was a 4-3 match. If we are not really ready for them, we can lose this match. I would hope that if we play well we could win it."

    Commenting on freshman play at Middle Tennessee State:
    "Well, Jakub has been picking up points all year long. He has a mature that we enjoy very much."

    "Ryan Recht picked up his second win in a row. He won against Vanderbilt then we won against them. Ryan had been on a little bit of a losing streak, and I was really happy to see get his first win. Now I think he is starting to get his confidence back. Ryan is a good character kid, he is going to get better and better for us."

    "Tommy Bagnato won kind of ugly, but he stuck with it and won. He was serving for the first set and lost six games in a row. Then he is down a set and like 3-0 or 3-1 in the second, and he pulls it out. So that is good guts coming back in that situation, but he has to learn be more steady and play the match cleaner from start to finish. But he has been winning a lot of matches and giving an effort. He is making some freshman mistakes, but he is showing some heart too. He is just going to get better."

    Commenting on Evansville being last match before first Big Ten match against Northwestern:
    "The funny thing about this is I don't' think this team has found its stride or found its identity yet. I have never been this far into a season and felt that way. I think that is what we are still looking for get everyone feeling the positions and hitting on all eight cylinders. Hopefully this gets us closer there. It would be nice to go into Northwestern felling that way, if not we will go in the other way."

    Commenting on the Hooisers' injury situation:
    "I don't' know, Ari was the only guy that went on the last trip who was healthy. We have so many injuries and so much flu, everyone has been hit. If something bad happens to us now, something good is due to us down the road."

    Growing Up
    Freshmen Ryan Recht, Tommy Bagnato and Jakub Praibis picked up the Hoosiers' three points against Middle Tennessee State. Bagnato and Praibis both dropped the first set of their matches before rebounding to claim the point. Recht on the other hand swept through his opponent with ease, 6-2, 6-4. Baganato is 11-8 on the year, 5-1 on the spring, while Praibis is 7-1 this season for the Hoosiers. Recht win was his second straight spring victory this season, he is now 7-9 on the year.

    Returning to the Lineup
    After sitting out the Vanderbilt match due to a back injury, senior Rahman Smiley returned to the lineup against Middle Tennessee. Although Smiley dropped both his doubles and singles matches, he played top competition and competed well. Smiley teamed with freshman Ryan Recht and lost a close 9-7 match to the No. 9 team in the nation, Oliver Foreman and Robert Gustafsson of MTSU. Smiley then lost his singles match to Gustafsson, who is ranked 27th, 7-6(5), 6-3.

    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

    Personal Leave
    Junior Zach Held took a personal leave of absences from the team before the Middle Tennessee match for an undisclosed amount of time.
    "Zach needs this time away from the team," said Head Coach Ken Hydinger. "He is the type of person that would stay and help the team, but the team agrees with and applauds Zach for taking this time."
    "We want everyone to know that this has nothing to do with discipline-related problems or anything of that sort," said Hydinger. "He is an outstanding member of the team and he just needs this time and we are behind him 100 percent."

    NO Quit
    Despite trailing 3-1 to the Vanderbilt Commodores, the Hoosiers mustered up the stamina to even the match before falling, 4-3.
    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.

    Filling In
    Freshman Jakub Praibis, normally IU's No. 3 singles player, filled in for the injured 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 7-1 on the year.

    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 fought match. He now sits at 6-9 on the year.

    Wounded Warriors
    Against Vanderbilt, 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 practicing 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
    The Hoosiers dropped the doubles point for the first time 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 fashion, first ousting SMS's 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 State's 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 year's squad.

    Winning Matter
    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 State's 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."

    Fantastic Freshmen
    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 11-6 this season including a 7-4 record with Smiley as his partner. The doubles team of Strand and Praibis are 7-1 as a team this spring. In singles, freshman Tommy Bagnato is 5-1 this spring and 11-8 overall. Praibis is also 7-1 this spring after joining the Hoosiers mid-season.

    Senior Rahman Smiley (pronounced Ra-mon) 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 IU's 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.

    Doubling Up
    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.

    Dynamic Duos
    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 Green's 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.

    Eye Opener
    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
    IU's tandem of junior Zach Held and senior Milan Rakvica are a hardy 7-4 as a team this season. The Indiana duo of freshman Ryan Recht and senior Rahman Smiley have a similarly impressive record at 7-5.

    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.

    Youth Movement
    The Hoosiers return only four players from last season's 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 Indiana's 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.

    Family Ties
    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.

    Highly Regarded
    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.




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