Senior Milan Rakvica looks to improve upon his 13-9 singles record against the Irish and the Hawkeyes.
Hosting Ranked Foes The Hoosiers return from their longest road trip of the season to do battle with the No. 7 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the No. 69 Hawkeyes of Iowa. IU will take on the Irish on Saturday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m., while the Hawkeyes will come to town on Sunday, March 24 at 12:00 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Varsity Tennis Courts.
Inside the Numbers The Hoosiers have a losing record against the Fighting Irish. They are 23-36 overall including an 11-14 mark in Bloomington. Despite the losing record, Indiana has won the last two matches against Notre Dame by identical 4-3 scores. The Irish are currently ranked No. 7 according to the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings.
Indiana owns a 45-13 mark all-time against the Hawkeyes with a 17-5 mark in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have won the last seven matches against their Big Ten foe including a 4-3 win in Iowa City last season. Iowa is currently ranked 69th on the year, while the Hoosiers are not ranked.
Match Results Complete match results will be made available on the web at iuhoosiers.com following the event. Results can be viewed and printed out by choosing the mens tennis link from the main menu. For more information, contact Kris Sears at (812) 855-9399 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana Coaching Staff Ken Hydinger is in his 18th season as head coach of the Hoosiers with an overall record of 270-180-1 and a 116-89 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.
Coachs Comments Commenting on upcoming opponents Notre Dame and Iowa: Notre Dame is going in with nothing to lose. They are rank something like fourth in the nation. It is one of those matches where you have to let it ride, and if you get the result you want, great. It is an opportunity and not a threat.
They (Notre Dame) are a good team with some really talented players. They have good student athletes and dont sacrifice their values for wins. I have the utmost respect for their program.
A Big Ten match is a Big Ten match. They are all important. I think last season we had a dog fight up there (Iowa) and won on the last point. You have to go into every match thinking that you can win. You cant over look anyone in the Big Ten.
Commenting on Jakub Praibis nine match winning streak: His balance has been in best attribute during his streak. It hasnt been just one thing. He shows balance in game, his thought process and his emotions. He is just a player.
Commenting on Milan Rakvica moving into sixth on the Hoosiers all-time wins list: The most impressive thing about that is he has done it playing three years at No. 1 singles. It is a great achievement for him, and he has been outstanding for this program.
Moving up the Charts Freshman Jakub Praibis and senior Milan Rakvica are currently moving up the Omni Hotels Collegiate Sinlges' rankings. Praibis recently jumped from 135th to 63rd, while Rakvica moved up to 109th after being ranked 123rd. Rakvica will look upset the 11th ranked Javier Taborga of Notre Dame.
Winning Streak Freshman Jakub Praibis is currently riding a nine match winning streak over the last month. He last lost to Paulo Carvalho of Louisville in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Praibis recently ousted the 39th ranked Karim Benmansour of Kentucky, 6-2,6-3. With that victory his ITA ranking jumped from 135 to 63. He is currently 11-1 on the year.
Playing Top Notch Opponents The Hoosiers are 6-6 on the year, but the six loses can look deceiving. Five of those six loses have come to opponents ranked in the Omni Hotels Collegiate. Four of which are ranked in the top 40. The Hoosiers have lost to No. 4 Kentucky, No. 29 Middle Tennessee State, No. 36 Northwestern, and No. 37 Vanderbilt. The Hoosiers other lose to a ranked opponent was to No. 63 Louisville. The loses to MTSU and Vanderbilt were by identical 4-3 scores.
Tough Stretch The Hoosiers next seven opponents and eight out of the last nine are currently ranked in the ITAs top 75. The schedule also includes dates with No. 7 Notre Dame, at No. 2 Illinois, and at No. 12 Ohio State.
Closing in on the Record Books Senior Milan Rakvica now sits in sixth-place on the Hoosiers career singles wins list with 86. 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. Milan Rakvica - 86 6. Paul Jacobson - 86
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
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 improved to 11-8 on the year, 5-1 on the spring, while Praibis was 8-1 this season for the Hoosiers. Recht stands at 7-10 on the year
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 Evanvilles Derrek Boland and Louis Arguellos, 8-2. Vulliez then ousted the Purple Aces Derrick Kincheloe in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
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 IUs 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 6-0 record while filling at the No. 2 position for Smiley. Praibis currently sits at 11-1 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 SMSs 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 States 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. 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 years 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 States 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.
Rock-man 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 IUs 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.
Ranked 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 Greens 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 IUs 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 seasons 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 Indianas 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 LouisvilleInvitational. 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.