March 31, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The #44 Indiana University men's tennis team (12-4, 2-1 Big Ten) hosts three Big Ten match-ups in a five-day span, beginning with a 1:30 p.m. match versus #2 Ohio State on Wednesday. Indiana is also set to take on #45 Wisconsin and Northwestern over the weekend.
COMPLETE MATCH NOTES
Indiana is expected to face five top-100 singles players this week. The Buckeyes have the 19th, 24th and 27th ranked competitors in their singles line-up. Wisconsin is also represented in the ITA rankings by #44 Moritz Baumann and #99 Nolan Polley.
IU leads the all-time series over Ohio State (41-30) and Wisconsin (41-24). Sunday's match will determine the leader in the Northwestern series as it is currently knotted at 35 matches apiece.
SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?
Indiana's 12-4 start is their best record through the first 16 matches of the year since the 1999-2000 season in which the Cream and Crimson won 12 of their first 16 as well. That team went on to go 17-7 overall, 7-3 in the Big Ten and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships.
DOUBLES, NO TROUBLE
A big reason for the Hoosiers' early season success has been their superb doubles play. Through the first 16 dual matches, IU has won 37 of 48 (77.1%) doubles matches, while claiming the doubles point in 14 of 16 contests.
Peter Antons and Santiago Gruter lead the way with an 11-1 record this spring. They are 20-3 overall as partners, including a doubles championship at the University of Louisville Invitational in the fall.
Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal swapped partners for the top two doubles tandems five matches ago, and the results have been very positive. Each new pairing is 4-1, including wins for both in their last three matches. During the recent stretch, Phillip Eilers and Lachlan Ferguson have manned the No. 1 doubles slot while Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter played second doubles.
DEPTH IS KEY
The Hoosiers' have good team depth and it is showcased by the records posted from the No. 4-No. 6 singles positions thus far. Combined, the final three singles slots are 34-14 (70.8%) on the year.
BIG TEN DOING BIG THINGS
The Big Ten Conference is well represented in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest national rankings. Six teams rank in the top-50, including #2 Ohio State, Michigan (#14), Illinois (#16), Wisconsin (#45), Iowa (#46) and the #44 Indiana Hoosiers. The Nittany Lions of Penn State are just outside the top-50, coming in at #51 in the country.
RICHTER DOWNS RANKED FOES
Senior Thomas Richter earned his third win over a top-100 opponent this year by topping #41 Austen Childs of Louisvile on March 18 by a score of 7-6, 6-3. Richter is now 3-2 versus nationally-ranked opponents on the year with additional wins over #87 Jeremy Sonkin (Wisconsin) and #53 Kevin Dessauer (LSU).
CREEPING UP ON THE RECORD BOOKS
Seniors Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter have compiled 58 and 56 career doubles victories, respectively, while donning the Cream and Crimson. Those lofty totals have placed them on the outskirts of the IU record books. Both are within striking distance of cracking the all-time doubles wins top-10 as David Held currently resides in the No. 10 position with his 62 doubles triumphs from 1990-93.