March 30, 2006
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's tennis team returns home for a pair of conference matches on Friday, March 31, and Sunday, April 2. Indiana will battle Wisconsin on March 31 at 2 p.m., before facing No. 59 Northwestern at noon on April 2. Indiana is coming off a 6-1 upset over then-No. 39 Penn State on March 27. The Hoosiers won their first Big Ten match of the season on the road improving to 12-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play. Indiana has won seven straight matches dating back to March 13.
Wisconsin enters its Friday, March 31, match against the Hoosiers with an 8-6 record, including a 1-2 Big Ten mark. The Badgers have lost their last two matches, including a 6-1 defeat at the hands of then-No. 30 Michigan in Madison, Wis.
The Badgers earned victories over Florida Atlantic (7-0), Marquette (7-0), Butler (7-0), Indiana State (7-0), Michigan State (7-0), at Loyola Marymount (7-0), DePaul (7-0) and Northern Illinois (7-0) this season. The five UW losses came at the hands of Northwestern (4-3), at Notre Dame (6-1), at Western Michigan (4-3), at Pepperdine (6-1) and at South Florida (5-2).
Nolan Polley and Jeremy Sonkin have both won 20 matches this season for the Badgers. Polley defeated IU players Dmytro Ishtuganov and Dara McLoughlin on his way to the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championship in Nov., and owns a 23-9 mark, including an 8-3 ledger at the No. 2 slot. Sonkin has played every match at the No. 1 singles position. He is ranked 113th by the ITA and owns a 21-8 record, including an 11-3 mark at the top slot.
The No. 59 Wildcats will travel to University Park, Pa., on Friday, March 31, before battling the Hoosiers on Sunday, April 2. Northwestern owns a mark of 8-6 overall and a 2-1 conference ledger. NU is currently riding a two-match winning streak heading into their affair with Penn State.
In their last two matches, the Wildcats notched victories over Arizona State, 5-2, and Michigan State, 7-0. Northwestern defeated Oral Roberts (6-0), then-No. 41 Harvard (4-3), DePaul (7-0), Ball State (5-2) and UIC (7-0) this season. The Wildcats have lost to then-No. 30 Michigan (5-2), at then-No. 52 Tulsa (5-2), at then-No. 15 Wake Forest (5-2), at then-No. 31 North Carolina (5-2), then-No. 26 Notre Dame (6-1) and at then-No. 32 Louisville (5-2).
Christian Tempke is the top NU singles player. He is ranked No. 51 in the ITA singles rankings and holds a record of 15-9, including an 8-5 ledger at the No. 1 position. Adam Schaechterle leads the Wildcats in singles victories with 16, playing primarily at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Tempke and Schaechterle make up the Wildcats top doubles pair. The duo is 9-7 overall and 6-6 in dual matches.
After opening the season with a 5-6 record, including all six losses to ranked opponents, the Hoosiers have been on a roll since. Starting with a 6-1 win over North Florida to open its spring break trip on March 13, Indiana has won seven straight matches. The Hoosiers completed a five-match sweep of spring break with wins over Colgate (5-0), South Florida (4-3), Army (6-1) and Central Florida (5-2). IU then defeated Vincennes, 7-0, before disposing of then-No. 39 Penn State, 6-1. It is the longest winning streak for a Hoosier team since the 2002-03 team started the season with eight straight victories.
Defeating Ranked Opponents
After dropping its first six matches to ranked opponents this season, the Hoosiers defeated then-No. 39 Penn State, 6-1, in University Park, Pa. The win was not only the first over a ranked for this season, but the first victory for IU over a top-40 program on the road in three years. The last time IU defeated a top-40 opponent on the road was Jan. 24, 2003, when it knocked off then-No. 27 Notre Dame, 4-3.
The sophomore tandem of Dara McLoughlin and Michael McCarthy have made quite the impact in their second seasons with the Hoosiers. Both players are tied for the team lead with 18 singles victories, while playing at the No. 3 and No. 5 positions, respectively.
After only seeing limited action in the single's lineup as a rookie, McLoughlin has played in every dual match this season. In doing so, the Dublin, Ireland native has garnered the top dual-match record of any Hoosier at 12-6. McLoughlin has won nine straight matches dating back to his victory over Kurt Zaske of Purdue on Feb. 26. Included in the run was the clinching matches in victories over South Florida and Penn State as well as a win over then-No. 60 Brett Helgeson of Notre Dame.
McCarthy battled through his rookie season at IU with injuries, but still managed to win 15 singles matches. He has surpassed that total already in his sophomore campaign. Playing mainly at the No. 5 position, the Cincinnati, Ohio native has racked up a dual-match mark of 11-6. He is 2-1 in conference action as well. Over the last few weeks, McCarthy has teamed with senior Neil Kenner at the No. 3 doubles position. The duo has gone 5-2, including winning its last five matches.
Magical No. 300
In his 21st season as the Hoosier head coach, Ken Hydinger join a list of elite Hoosier leader with his 300th win at the institution. By virtue of IU's 5-0 victory over Colgate on March 13, Hydinger joined a list that includes Bob Morgan (baseball), Bob Knight (men's basketball), Lin Loring (women's tennis), Jerry Yeagley (men's soccer), Diane Stephenson (softball), Ernie Andres (baseball) and Branch McCracken (men's basketball) as one of only eight head coaches to win 300 games at IU.
"I have been blessed in many ways during my time here at IU," Hydinger said. "Some of those great memories were being around some elite coaches. I've been blessed to be in a good place and to have had some great competitors on my teams."
Head Coach (Sport) - Wins - Tenure at Indiana
Bob Morgan (Baseball) - 782 - 1984-2005
Bob Knight (Men's Basketball) - 661 - 1972-2000
Lin Loring (Women's Tennis) - 631 - 1977-Present
Jerry Yeagley (Men's Soccer) - 544 - 1973-2003
Diane Stephenson (Softball) - 402 - 1988-2002
Ernie Andres (Baseball) - 401 - 1949-1973
Branch McCracken (Men's Basketball) - 364 - 1939-1943, 1947-1965
Ken Hydginer (Men's Tennis) - 305 - 1984-Present
Three Sets to Hoosiers' Liking
Sophomore Dara McLoughlin has been successful when forcing matches to three sets. After dropping his opening match of the season in three sets, McLoughlin has won his last nine matches when taking the match to a deciding set. In fact, six of those nine victories were of the come-from-behind persuasion. From Feb. 26 through March 15, the Dublin, Ireland native claimed five consecutive matches in three sets.
McLoughlin is not the only Hoosier to find success when matches go to three sets. Senior Dymtro Ishtuganov and sophomore Michael McCarthy have each claimed five three-set wins. Senior Neil Kenner and freshman Peter Antons each have a pair.
Chances at 20 Wins
In 2004-05, only two Hoosiers reached the 20-win plateau in singles. That number has a chance to double in 2005-06. With four players at either 17 or 18 victories, the Hoosiers have a chance to have their most 20-match winners since the 1999-00 season. In fact, the Hoosiers had five players with 20 or more singles victories during that season. Sophomores Michael McCarthy and Dara McLoughlin each lead the team with 17 victories, while junior David Bubenicek and senior Dmytro Ishtuganov lead the have 16 victories on the year.
The Hoosiers will play 11 opponents ranked in the Fila Top-75 rankings as of March 28 on their 2006 schedule. Indiana still has No. 6 Ohio State, No. 29 Michigan, No. 52 Minnesota and No. 59 Northwestern on the schedule. The Hoosiers have already played then-No. 3 Illinois, then-No. 18 Notre Dame, then-No. 32 Louisville, then-No. 39 Middle Tennessee State, then-No. 39 Penn State, then-No. 65 Purdue and then-No. 69 Ball State.