Senior Milan Rakvica looks to move into fifth-place on the Hoosiers' all-time singles wins list this week.
Hoosiers Look to End Road Woes The Hoosiers will try to snap their five-game losing skid when it travels to West Lafayette, Indiana to battle Purdue on Thursday, March 28. The match carries a 1:00 p.m. start time at the Lafayette Sports Center
Indiana will then travel to Champaign, Illinois to face the second- ranked Fighting Illini on Sunday, March 31. The match will be played at 12:00 p.m. at the Atkins Tennis Center.
Inside the Numbers The Hoosiers lead the all-time series with the Boilermakers at 52-23-1, including a 23-12-1 mark in West Lafayette. Indiana has lost the last six matches to the Boilers including the last three in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers beat the Hoosiers in Bloomington last season, 5-2. The Boilers are ranked 65th according to the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings.
Indiana also hold a 45-33 record against Illinois, but only a 16-17 mark in Champaign. IU has not beaten Illinois since 1997 when it downed the Illini, 4-3. Illinois currently holds down the No. 2 spot on the Omni Hotel Rankings. The Fighting Illini were ranked No. 1 in the February 26 Omni Hotel Collegiate Rankings.
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 email@example.com.
Indiana Coaching Staff Ken Hydinger is in his 18th season as head coach of the Hoosiers with an overall record of 270-182-1 and a 116-90 mark in Big Ten play. In his pervious 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 opponent Purdue: They are good and it is a rival. It is also a team that I respect. Tim Madden has done things the right way, and we have had some good hard, really clean matches. But this is Purdue.
Commenting on the improved play of junior Zach Held: His game is really coming together. He works hard, he thinks about the game, tries to improve and it is paying off.
Commenting on Milan Rakvica moving into 5th on the Hoosiers all-time singles wins list: I am looking forward to him getting to fifth place. He deserves it. Eion Collins was one of the hardest workers we had. He played No. 2 singles for Ireland in the Olympics, and was a 6-4 third set from making the US Open. That is some great company to be in. I respected no one more than Eion, if Milan makes it there, that says volumes. And once again I have to say that he has done this playing at No. 1 for three years. It has been the toughest way to go for something like this. Also the guys before him played more matches, back then the NCAA wasnt cutting down play date. It is really special what he is doing, he is just a class player.
Commenting on the keys to the match against No. 2 Illinois: The key against Illinois is that you just have to go out and play loose. You have to play every point and just roll the dice. If the door opens you cant be afraid to walk through it. Against a good team you just have to stay relaxed and play.
Titan Series The inaugural Titan Series in underway between the athletic programs of Purdue and Indiana. The Hoosiers are currently leading 7-4, but are looking to add to that lead with a victory in Thursdays match.
Each sport is worth one point towards an overall championship. A total of 18 points can be won. The winner of regular season head-to-head competition earns the point for its institution. Should the teams split or tie in regular season competition the point is split between the two institutions (i.e. if each team wins two games in baseball the point is split).
Upsets Three Hoosier individuals pulled off upsets in the match against Notre Dame. Junior Zach Held and freshman Ryan Recht defeated the fifth-ranked team of Javier Taborga and Casey Smith. Recht and Held were playing only their fifth match of the year together and first of the spring. Senior Milan Rakvica also pulled off an upset of Notre Dames Taborga, 6-4, 6-4. Taborga is currently ranked 11th by the ITA.
Firsts in the Big Ten Freshman Ryan Recht and senior Zach Held won their first Big Ten matches of the season against Iowa. Held picked up his first victory at the No. 2 position over Iowas Jake Wilson, 6-3, 6-2. Rechts win was the first Big Ten victory of his career. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native also ousted Hunter Skogman, 6-4, 6-3.
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 - 87 7. 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
Winning Streak Freshman Jakub Praibis had a nine-match winning streak before falling to Notre Dames Casey Smith.
Praibis biggest upset came when he 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 11-3 on the year.
Hurting in All the Wrong Places With all of their injuries this season, the Hoosiers have been more suited for the hospital than the tennis court. The Hoosiers have been without Rahman Smiley, who is the teams No. 2 singles player and part of the No. 1 doubles team, for the last five matches. Smiley has had a chronic back injury. The Hoosiers No. 1 singles player Milan Rakvica missed the Iowa match due to a stomach virus. At the No. 3 spot, Hoosier freshman sensation Jakub Praibis has been hampered by a leg injury for the last few weeks. The Hoosiers have also had injuries to Zach Held (calf), Ryan Recht (hamstring), and Efriam Kandinov (ankle) this season.
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.
Playing Top Notch Opponents The Hoosiers are 6-8 on the year, but the eight losses can look deceiving. Seven of those eight losses have come to opponents ranked in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings. Five of which are ranked in the top 40. The Hoosiers have lost to No. 4 Kentucky, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 29 Middle Tennessee State, No. 36 Northwestern and No. 37 Vanderbilt. Two other Hoosier losses have come to ranked opponents, No. 63 Louisville and No. 69 Iowa. The losses to MTSU and Vanderbilt were by identical 4-3 scores.
Tough Stretch The Hoosiers next seven opponents and eight out of the last seven are currently ranked in the ITAs top 75. The schedule also includes dates at No. 2 Illinois and at No. 12 Ohio State.
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. Bagnato sits at 12-12 on the year, while Praibis is 11-3 this season for the Hoosiers. Recht stands at 8-14 on the year.
Career Day Freshmen Jullien Vulliez had a career day against the Evansville Purple Aces. The Ozoir La Ferriere, France native picked up both his first career doubles and first career 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 of 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,
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.
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 8-14 on the year.
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.
Home Sweet Home All six of the Hoosiers victories this season have come at home. In contrast, Indiana is 0-4 on the road and 0-1 in its lone neutral court match.
Leading the Way Leadership starts at the top and works its way down. With only four upperclassmen and eight freshman, Coach Ken Hydinger has selected senior Rahman Smiley and junior Zach Held as the captains for this years squad.
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 13-10 this season including a 7-5 record with Smiley as his partner. The doubles team of Strand and Praibis are 5-6 as a team this spring. In singles, freshman Tommy Bagnato is 6-5 this spring and 12-12 overall. Praibis is also 11-3 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. 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.
Preseason rankings After the fall season, senior Milan Rakvica was ranked 87th by the ITA. The Czech Republic native was also ranked 19th in the Midwest region.
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 against Toledo.
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 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 Indiana Big Ten wins list.