Bloomington, Ind.- The Hoosiers will look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they battle a pair of ranked opponents this week. On Wednesday, Indiana will travel to No. 74 Ball State before playing No. 34 Miami (Fla.) in Champaign, Ill on Saturday. The Ball State match will carry a 1:00 p.m. start time, while the Miami match will begin at 2:00 p.m.
Indiana holds a 35-7 record against Ball State and 14-4 in Muncie. The Hoosiers downed the Cardinals last season in Bloomington, 4-3. IU has won the last seven matches between the two schools, including the last one in Muncie 6-1.
Miami (Fla.) holds a 9-4 advantage over the Hoosiers all-time. This meeting will be the first between the two schools at a neutral site.
For Complete Indiana Tennis Notes against Vanderbilt Notes Click HERE
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals are 7-2 on the season with both losses coming at Michigan and at No. 2 Illinois. In their last match, BSU downed Wisconsin 5-2. The Badgers are the only common opponent between the two. IU also downed Wisconsin, 5-2 earlier this season. Ball State owns a 3-2 mark against the Big Ten this season after picking up wins over Michigan State and Purdue.
Scouting Miami (Fla.)
The Miami Hurricanes are 5-1 on the season with their lone loss coming at No. 6 Florida, 6-1. In their last match, the Hurricanes downed No. 41 Florida State, 5-2.
The Hurricanes and Hoosiers have one common opponent in North Carolina State. Miami downed NC State, 6-1 and the Hoosiers won 7-0.
The Hurricane lineup features one ranked player in Todd Widom. Widom is ranked ninth according to the ITA singles rankings.
Indiana's Last time Out
The Hoosiers lost their first match of the season, a 7-0 defeat to No. 26 Vanderbilt.
The Commodores won the doubles point by a 2-1 margin. The match was even after John Stone and Jakub Praibis won at No. 3 to go 8-1 on the season. Despite having an early lead, Zach Held and Ryan Recht dropped an 8-6 match at No. 1 doubles.
Vanderbilt would then go on to sweep the singles competition with all the matches only going two sets.
The Hoosiers have beaten five ranked opponents in their first eight matches, but the schedule does not get any easier. Indiana's final 13 opponents are ranked in the ITA's top 75. Eight of those 13 are ranked in the top 50, including four in the top 15.
Last season, Indiana suffered through its worst season since 1994. In 2002, Indiana went 7-16 overall, 1-9 in the Big Ten and lost 12 straight before ending the regular season with a victory.
2003 has been a polar opposite to last season as Indiana has won its first eight matches and are currently 8-1. They also doubled their Big Ten wins from a year ago as they started out the Big Ten 2-0.
Indiana not only jumped out to an 8-0 record, but won five of those matches over ranked opponents.
The Hoosiers have won seven of nine doubles points this season. Until the Vanderbilt match, IU had won the last six straight.
The Hoosiers have stuck with the same doubles line-up in all nine matches. Indiana's combined dual meet doubles record sits at 20-7. Ryan Recht and Zach Held are 6-3 at No. 1 as are Viktor Libal and Petr Novotny at No. 2. Indiana's No. 3 team of Jakub Praibis and John Stone is 8-1.
Climbing the Rankings
Indiana began the 2002-03 season unranked, but have steadily moved up the polls since. The Hoosiers entered the polls at No. 45 on Jan. 29 after wins over Murray State, No. 27 Notre Dame and No. 37 Middle Tennessee State. They remained at No. 45 on Feb. 5 before jumping up to No. 40 after wins over No. 37 Louisville and No. 54 Memphis.
Indiana currently sits at their highest ranking of No. 39 in the Feb. 19 poll.
Hydinger to Miss Spring Season
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."