Bloomington, Ind.- The No. 38 Indiana Hoosiers will his the road for its spring break trip after taking nine days off. IU will square off with two- top 30 opponents.
The Hoosiers will travel to take on the No. 24 Auburn Tigers and t hen No. 29 Georgia Tech. IU will take on Auburn on Wednesday, March 19 at 1:30 p.m. They will then travel to take on the Yellow Jackets on Friday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m.
The Hoosiers have a losing record all-time against Auburn at 2-3. The Indiana and Georgia Tech series is close with Indiana holding a 5-4-1 advantage.
For Complete Notes against No. 24 Auburn and No. 29 Georgia Tech click HERE
The Tigers come into the match with the 24th ranking in the nation and a 9-4 overall record. They are also 3-3 in the difficult Southeastern Conference. Auburn has downed No. 18 Arkansas, No. 26 Tennessee and No. 26 Mississippi State, all in conference play.
All four of Indiana's losses have come to teams ranked in the top 25. Auburn has lost to No. 8 Mississippi, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 20 LSU and No. 23 Georgia. The last time the Tigers were on the court, they downed No. 36 Mississippi State, 5-2.
The Auburn lineup features one ranked players in Rameez Junaid, who is ranked 20th.
Scouting Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech carries the 29th ranking and a 9-3 overall record. They are also 2-1 in the ACC.
The Yellow Jackets and Hoosiers have played two common opponents. Both teams beat North Carolina State and Miami (Florida). IU and Georgia Tech downed NC State, 7-0. Indiana beat No. 39 Miami (Fla.), 4-3, while Georgia Tech won 5-2 against the Hurricanes.
Georgia Tech has two ranked singles players in its lineup. Roger Anderson is the top Yellow Jacket play and carries the No. 39 singles ranking. Scott Schnugg is the other ranked Georgia Tech player at No. 69.
Indiana's Last time Out
Over the last two weeks, Indiana has gone 2-1 all against ranked opponents. The Hoosiers downed No. 60 Ball State in Muncie, Ind. and No. 32 Miami (Fla.) in Champaign , Ill. Indiana then dropped its second match of the season to No. 9 Kentucky in Lexington.
Indiana had to come from behind in both wins. IU dropped the doubles point in both matches and had to battle back in winning four singles positions.
Senior Zach Held, sophomore Ryan Recht and freshman Viktor Libal have all gone 2-1 over the stretch. The most impressive play has come from sophomore Tommy Bagnato, who is 2-0 with both wins coming against ranked opponents.
Senior Zach Held and sophomore Ryan Recht entered the doubles rankings for the first time this season on March 12. The duo was ranked 37th after not being ranked in the first poll. The Hoosier pair is 7-5 this season.
The Hoosiers have beaten seven ranked opponents in their first 12 matches, but the schedule does not get any easier. Eight of Indiana's 10 opponents are ranked in the ITA's top 75. Six of those eight are ranked in the top 50, including five in the top 30.
Climbing the Rankings
The Hoosiers are currently ranked 38th by the ITA Omni Hotels poll. The No. 38 ranking is the team's highest of the season.
After suffering though last season with a 7-16 record, Indiana began the season on the outside looking in as they were not ranked. With wins over ranked opponents, the Hoosiers slowly began to move up the charts.
Indiana has its highest ranking since April 11, 2001. The Hoosiers were ranked 37th on that date.
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 10-2. 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 only two losses have come to teams ranked in the top 30 (No. 9 Kentucky and No. 26 Vanderbilt).
Sophomore Tommy Bagnato responded with two victories over ranked opponents over the last two weeks. After not playing for much of the season and only once during the dual match season, Bagnato came in and helped the Hoosiers to a win over No. 32 Miami (Fla.) Bagnato downed No. 86 John Hoyes in straight sets.
Bagnato moved up to the No. 4 singles positions against No. 9 Kentucky when Indiana's No.1 singles player, Jakub Praibis was out with a thumb injury. Bagnato made the most of his second opportunity as well as he downed No. 104 Rahim Esmail. Bagnato is currently 4-4 on the season for IU.