Men's Tennis

    #9 Illini Next Up for Young Hoosiers

    Go Hoosiers! Freshman Jeremy Langer
    Go Hoosiers!
    Freshman Jeremy Langer
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 30, 2009

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    With both team's at 3-0 in conference play, the battle between the Hoosiers and the Illini should be a good one. The No. 9 Illini are coming off two losses at Texas A&M and at Notre Dame. Prior to those defeats, they won eight straight. Both teams have defeated Purdue, Wisconsin and Northwestern this season.

    The No. 45 Hoosiers have won six of their last seven matches, with the only loss at the hands of #19 Louisville. In most recent action, IU took down the Boilermakers 5-2. Indiana leads the all-time series 44-38, but the Hoosiers haven't come out on top in the series since 1997. In the 2008 meeting, Illinois took a 2-5 decision.

    The Illini are led by three ranked singles players, in No. 35 Dennis Nevolo, No. 43 Roy Kalmonovich and No. 63 Marc Spicijaric. They also boast two ranked doubles tandems in No. 32 Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse, No. 37 Marek Czerwinski and Spicijaric.

    The Hoosiers maintained their unblemished conference record with a win over rival Purdue on Saturday. Led by stellar play from sophomore Santiago Gruter and freshman Stephen Vogl, the Hoosiers led from beginning to end for a 5-2 victory.

    Gruter and freshman Jeremy Langer won a marathon doubles match to seal the doubles point in Indiana's favor. The match with Branko Kuzmanovic and P.J. Rose went back and forth until it reached an 8-8 tie. The Hoosiers took the match in the tiebreaker, winning 9-7.

    Gruter won his number two singles match in straight sets. Each of the other five singles contests went to three sets. Gruter beat Kuzmanovic again in singles action, taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision.

    Vogl continued his solid play, winning at number one doubles with sophomore Lachlan Ferguson and a number six singles. Vogl took singles and doubles victories at Louisville in the IU's last outing. Vogl won his singles match in three sets, taking out Thomas Wilson 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. In doubles, Ferguson and Vogl took a win to help IU take the doubles point. They defeated Slavko Bijelica and Griff Nienberg 8-4.

    Up 3-2, freshman Will Kendall sealed the deal with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win at number five singles. The Short Hills, N.J., native leads Indiana in singles wins on the year. Ferguson closed out the match with a win of his own at number one singles. The Australia product defeated Bijelica 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-5.

    Riding a five-match win streak, the Hoosiers traveled to Louisville for a showdown with the #19 Cardinals. U of L proved to be a bit too much for the young Indiana squad. IU fell by a 6-1 tally, getting two victories out of freshman Stephen Vogl.

    Vogl was joined by sophomore Lachlan Ferguson in IU's lone doubles victory. The pair took down Viktor Maksimcuk and Tim Barnoud at number two doubles, winning 8-5. Vogl added a win at number six singles, defeating Robert Rotaru 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.

    Freshman Will Kendall lost a tight match at number five singles to Robert Hall. After winning the first set 6-2, Hall stormed back for a 6-2 win of his own in the second set. They played a ten-game third-set tie breaker and Hall took it 10-7.

    The Hoosiers continued their winning streak by taking down the #43 Fresno State Bulldogs on Tuesday. Sophomore Lachlan Ferguson led the way, defeating #55 Rudolf Siwy at number one singles and joining freshman Stephen Vogl in a win at number two doubles, en route to a 5-2 Indiana victory.

    Ferguson and Vogl were the first doubles match to finish up, winning 8-6. The Bulldogs evened it up by winning their own 8-6 match at number one doubles. Senior Peter Antons and freshman Maxime Armengaud put IU's first tally in the scorebook by clinching the doubles point with a 9-7 victory in the third flight. The Bulldogs never led in the meet.

    In singles action, the Bulldogs tied it up quickly with a win by Tejesvi Veereplai at number five. Freshman Jeremy Langer grabbed the Hoosier lead back with a 6-4, 6-1 win at number three, only to have Mirko Zapletal take the second flight match and knot it back up.

    Freshmen Guy Kubi and Will Kendall and Ferguson then clinched the victory for Indiana with wins at four, six and one, respectfully. Ferguson's win came over Siwy, the 55th ranked player in the nation. It is the Adelaide, Australia native's fourth win over a ranked foe this season and the highest ranked opponent he has displaced since a Jan. 31 victory over then #42 Diego Cubas of South Carolina.

    Indiana took its second straight win over a ranked Big Ten foe on Sunday. The Hoosiers took the doubles point and then rode singles points from three freshman for a 4-3 victory over the 19th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Freshman Maxime Armengaud clinched the victory for Indiana, winning a three set thriller at number five singles.

    For the second straight day, the Hoosiers jumped out to an early lead by snatching the doubles point. At number two doubles, sophomore Lachlan Ferguson and freshman Stephen Vogl jumped out early and took their match 8-3. At number one doubles, sophomore Santiago Gruter and freshman Jeremy Langer scored an upset of the 16th ranked doubles tandem in the nation. The IU duo played tough, forcing Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka into a tiebreaker, where the Hoosiers prevailed 7-5 for a 9-8 win, closing out the doubles point and moving Indiana into a 1-0 lead.

    Langer extended the lead to 2-0 with his dismissal of Luke Rassow-Kantor at number four singles. He won 6-1, 6-2. The Badgers then came roaring back, winning at  number one and number three singles to even the count at two all.

    Freshman Will Kendall scored the third point for Indiana, winning 6-3, 6-4 at number six singles, over Michael Dierberger. The win left two matches in play, both going to a third set. One IU win would bring home the W. The plot thickened as the second flight fell in favor of the Badgers. Gruter fell to #44 Marek Michalicka 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. At that point, only Armengaud and Peter Marrack of the Badgers remained on the court, tied at 4-4 in the third set.

    Armengaud then broke Marrack's serve to take 5-4 advantage. With a loud and energized crowd watching, Amengaud held serve, winning a game of several long rallies. The Nice, France product wrapped up Indiana's second defeat of a ranked opponent in as many days.

    After hosting the Illini, the Hoosiers hit the road for a pair of weekend Big Ten matches. They'll be in Minneapolis for a matchup with the Golden Gophers on Friday, April 3, and they head to Iowa City for an April 5 meeting with the Hawkeyes.




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