Edged by No. 3 Illinois
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 62 Indiana men's tennis team lost a close match to No. 3 Illinois, 4-3, in its Big Ten opener on Saturday afternoon in the IU Varsity Tennis Center. With the loss, the Hoosiers fall to 3-7 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while the Illini improve to 10-1 on the year and 3-0 in league action.
"I'm very proud of this team," Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "We are really working on coming together as a team. We have talked about getting 100 percent effort from all three doubles and all six singles and we got that today. This was a good, quality tennis match today. Illinois is very good, three in the country. Give them credit they got the job done on the road today. We gave ourselves a chance to win, but sometimes you don't always come out on the wining side."
Illinois secured the doubles point with victories at all three positions. Junior Pramod Dabir and junior Ryler DeHeart bested senior Ryan Recht and junior John Stone at the No. 1 spot by the score of 8-6.
Senior Jakub Praibis and junior Dmytro Ishtuganov, ranked 54th in the nation, dropped a slim 9-8 (4) decision to freshmen Monte Tucker and Kevin Anderson at No. 2. IU's freshmen tandem of Dara McLoughlin and Michael McCarthy lost to the freshmen pair of Brandon Davis and Ruben Gonzales by the margin of 9-7.
Junior John Stone evened the match with a 6-2, 6-4 win over senior Evan Zeder at the No. 6 slot. Stone improved to 5-2 in dual matches and 8-4 on the year. The Greenwood, Ind., native has won his last three contests.
The Illini moved ahead 3-1 as Gonzales bested McCarthy at No. 5, 6-3, 6-2, and Tucker, ranked 78th in the nation, downed senior Neil Kenner at No 2, 6-3, 6-4.
Sophomore David Bubenicek pulled the Hoosiers with one, 3-2, as he topped Dabir, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, at the No. 4 spot. The Kromeriz, Czech Republic, product pushed his overall record to 11-4 and his spring slate to 7-1. He is currently riding a four-match winning streak and is 8-2 over his last 10 contests.
DeHeart, the top-ranked singles player in the country, sealed the match for Illinois with a 7-5, 6-4 win against Recht at No. 2.
In the final match of the day, Praibis, ranked 100th, bested Anderson, the 14th ranked player in the nation, by the score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Litomerice, Czech Republic, product has now beaten five ranked opponents this season and 12 for his career. He is 8-2 at the No. 1 singles spot this spring and 12-6 on the year.
The Hoosiers will return to the courts on tomorrow, March 6, for a Big Ten match against No. 66 Penn State. The match is slated to begin at noon and will be held in the IU Varsity Tennis Center.
No. 3 Illinois 4, No. 66 Indiana 3
IU Varsity Tennis Center
1. Pramod Dabir/Ryler DeHeart (IL) def. Ryan Recht/John Stone (IU), 8-6
2. Monte Tucker/Kevin Anderson (IL) def. #54 Jakub Praibis/Dmytro Ishtuganov, 9-8 (4)
3. Brandon Davis/Ruben Gonzales (IL) def. Michael McCarthy/Dara McLoughlin (IU), 9-7
Order of Finish: 1,2,3
1. #100 Jakub Praibis (IU) def. #14 Kevin Anderson (IL), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #1 Ryler DeHeart (IL) def. Ryan Recht (IU), 7-5, 6-4
3. #78 Monte Tucker (IL) def. Neil Kenner (IU), 6-3, 6-4
4. David Bubenicek (IU) def. Pramod Dabir (IL), 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
5. Ruben Gonzales (IL) def. Michael McCarthy (IU), 6-3, 6-2
6. John Stone (IU) def. Evan Zeder (IL), 6-2, 6-4
Order of Finish: 6,5,2,4,2,1
No. 66 Indiana is now 3-7, 0-1
No. 3 Illinois is now 10-1, 3-0
Time of Match: 3:40
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