Men's Tennis

    Hoosiers Hit the Road for First Big Ten Match

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    News Update

    February 26, 2002

    Indiana Hits the Road for First Big Ten Match

    Current News Photo
    Freshman Jakub Praibis looks to continue his winning streak against Northwestern.
    Opening up the Big Ten Season on the Road
    Indiana opens the Big Ten season on the road when it travels to Evanston, Illinois to battle the Northwestern Wildcats. The match has a 12 p.m. start time on Saturday, March 2. The Wildcats enter the match with an 8-3 record, and a 3-0 mark in the Big Ten play. Northwestern defeated both Michigan and Michigan State, 4-3, last weekend. Indiana enters the match with a 6-3 record, 0-0 in the Big Ten, after breaking a two match losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Evansville.

    Inside the Numbers
    The winner of Saturday’s match will take a 37-36 advantage in the all time series. The Hoosiers own a losing record in Evanston at 11-15. Indiana won last season’s meeting between the two schools in Bloomington, 4-3.
    Indiana enters the match ranked 57th in the country according to the the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings. Northwestern holds the 50th spot in the poll.

    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 270-177-1 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 Northwestern:
    “It is a Big Ten match, what more can you say? It’s on the road, they are a good team. They just beat Michigan and Michigan State, 4-3.”

    “The whole Big Ten is going to be a dog fight. You have to get ready to compete. We are playing in their new facility. I am sure they are going to be jacked up, and they usually have some rowdy fan support up there. We are going on the road and we want to get a win in the Big Ten.”

    Commenting on opening the Big Ten season on the road:
    “It is fine, time to play. You have to win on the road and win at home to do anything. It is time to go.”

    Commenting on health of the team:
    “It is the healthiest we have been in a while. It is the first time we have been able to do any conditioning in a week and a half.”

    Common Opponent
    Both Indiana and Northwestern have done battle with a pair of Cards in Ball State and Louisville. Indiana beat Ball State 4-3 in Bloomington, while the Wildcats beat the BSU 5-2 in Evanston. Against Louisville on the other hand, the Hoosiers lost at Louisville 5-2, while Northwestern beat the Cards 4-3 in Seattle, Washington.

    Familar Faces
    The Hoosiers and Wildcats are no strangers to one another this season. Both squads participated in the Midwest Omni Hotel Regional Championships and the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Individuals from each team met in five different matches with Northwestern holding a 4-1 advantage. Tommy Bagnato played the bulk of the action for the Hoosiers losing all three of his matches to Northwestern’s Jamie Sahara, 6-3, 6-1, Josh Axler, 6-4, 6-2, and Tommy Hanus, 6-2, 6-2. The Hoosiers’ No. 1 singles player, Milan Rakvica, beat Axler 6-4, 6-3 for the IU’s lone victory over a Wildcat opponent. Senior Ari Widlansky played the closest match against a Northwestern foe, losing the Chuck Perrin 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-4 at the Big Ten Singles Championships.

    After taking a brief leave of absences from the team for personal reasons, junior Zach Held will return to the line-up. Held is currently 9-9 on the year in singles and 10-5 in doubles. Held will likely play at the No. 3 singles position and at the No. 1 doubles spot with teammate Milan Rakvica.

    Winning Streak
    Freshman Jakub Praibis is currently riding a six match winning streak over the last month. He last lost toPaulo Carvalho of Louisville in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Praibis is currently ranked 143th in the country this season according to the ITA and owns an 8-1 record on the year. Carvalho is currently ranked 111 by the ITA.

    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 seventh- place on the all-time doubles wins list with 65.

    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. Milan Rakvica - 65
    7. Tom Weise - 65
    9. David Held - 62
    10. Andrew Held - 61

    Career Day
    Freshmen Jullien Vulliez had a career day against the Evansville Purple Aces. The Ozoir La Ferriere, France native picked both his first career doubles and singles victories. He teamed with senior Ari Widlansky to defeat Evanville’s Derrek Boland and Louis Arguellos, 8-2. Vulliez then ousted the Purple Aces’ Derrick Kincheloe in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

    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 beforerebounding 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 8-1 this season for the Hoosiers. Recht stands at 7-10 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.

    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 8-1 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 7-10 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 six of the Hoosiers’ victories this season have come at home. Before its match with In contrast, Indiana is 0-2 in its only two road trips of the year.

    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 6-3 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 5-2 as a team this spring. In singles, freshman Tommy Bagnato is 5-1 this spring and 11-8 overall. Praibis is also 8-1 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 10-8 in singles and 7-5 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 54-39 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 on the weekend. 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. 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, 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. Eight 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. 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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