Bloomington, Ind.- The No. 23 Indiana Hoosiers will return home for the first time since February 8 when they played Memphis. Indiana will take on No. 64 Penn State and No. 31 Ohio State this weekend.
The Hoosiers will battle Penn State on Saturday, March 28 at 12:00 p.m. Indiana maintains a 10-5 all-time record against Penn State. Last season they suffered a 4-3 loss to the Nittany Lions.
The battle between the Hoosiers and Buckeyes on March 29 at 12:00 p.m. will be between two of the top teams in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are 3-0 and second in the Big Ten, while the Hoosiers are third at 2-0. The only team ahead of them is No. 1 ranked Illinois. The Hoosiers own the all-time series advantage against Ohio State 46-27 and are coming off a 6-1 loss to the Buckeyes last season in Columbus.
Both matches will be held at the Indiana Tennis Complex. Depending on the weather, the match could be held indoors at the Indiana Tennis Center or outdoors at the Varsity Courts.
For Complete Indiana Men's Tennis Notes Click HERE
Scouting Penn State
The Nittany Lions come into the match with a No. 64 ranking in the nation and a 12-3 overall record. They are also 2-1 in the Big Ten.
Its last time out Penn State won its 8th match in a row by defeating No. 61 Michigan 5-2. The Nittany Lions last loss came to Ohio State on February 23.
Scouting Ohio State
The No. 31 Ohio State Buckeyes enter Sunday's contest with a 13-4 overall record following a victory against Coastal Carolina 6-1. The Buckeyes are 3-0 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers have two common opponents in Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. Both teams downed Notre Dame, Indiana won 4-3, while Ohio State won 6-1. Vanderbilt was able to walk away with wins over both teams downing Ohio State 6-1, and Indiana 7-0.
The Buckeyes bring two ranked singles players and a ranked doubles team to the table. Vince Ng holds the No. 47 spot, while Jeremy Wurtzman maintains the No. 18 title in the ITA ranking. The duo of Ross Wilson and Conor Casey are currently ranked No. 47.
Indiana's Last time Out
Indiana dropped only its third match of the season to No. 24 Georgia Tech, 5-2. The No. 21 Hoosiers fell to 10-3 on the season, with all three losses coming to teams currently ranked in the top 15.
IU's only points came from Jakub Praibis at the No.1 position, Tom Bagnato at the No. 6 spot, and John Stone and Viktor Libal at No. 2 doubles. Praibis upset No. 39 ranked Roger Anderson in straight sets.
The Hoosiers other Spring Break match-up against then-No. 23 Auburn was cancelled due to rain.
Top 25 Ranking
The Hoosiers were ranked No. 21 in the first ITA computer rankings on March 19. It is the highest the Hoosiers have been ranked in over 10 years.
The Hoosiers finished the 1991 season ranked 24th. Indiana was also ranked 24th during part of the 2000 season.
Sophomore Jakub Praibis moved into the 81st position in the ITA Omni Hotel poll released on March 26.
Praibis' highest ranking was 63rd which came last season on March 20.
After missing the Hoosiers match with Kentucky due to a thumb injury, he upset No. 39 Roger Anderson. Praibis defeated his Georgia Tech opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Praibis is 6-3 against ranked opponents this season with Anderson being the highest ranked opponent he has downed. He is 11-5 on the season and 9-3 during the spring.
The Hoosiers have beaten seven ranked opponents in their first 13 matches. Indiana's only three losses have come to teams currently ranked in the ITA's top 15 (No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 12 Kentucky, and No. 14 Georgia Tech).
The schedule does not get any easier for the Hoosiers. Six of Indiana's final seven opponents are ranked in the ITA's top 75. Four of those eight are ranked in the top 50.
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 won its first eight matches and is currently 10-3. 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 also won five of those matches over ranked opponents. The Hoosiers only three losses have come to teams ranked in the top 30 at the time of play (No. 9 Kentucky, No. 26 Vanderbilt, and No. 24 Georgia Tech).
Climbing the Rankings
The Hoosiers are currently ranked 23rd by the ITA Omni Hotels poll. The No. 23 ranking is the team's second 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 dropped from its No. 21 ranking this week.