Indiana Streak Ends in 4-3 Loss to Northwestern
April 2, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's tennis team saw its eight-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of No. 59 Northwestern, 4-3, on April 2 at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers jumped out to an early advantage garnering the doubles point along with a victory at the No. 1 singles position, but the Wildcats claimed four of the final five singles affairs for the win. The Hoosiers fall to 13-7 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play, while Northwestern improves to 9-7 and 3-2 in the conference ledger.
"Give Northwestern credit, they came out and won the match," Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "I thought there were some things that we should have done better, and we just didn't get the job done. We needed to come out snarling like a bear protecting his den, and we didn't do that. This is a situation that we need to learn from and build on."
For the second straight match, the balance of the contest came down to a singles position. The Hoosiers found themselves in a similar position against Wisconsin on Friday, March 31, only to pull out the victory with a win at the No. 2 slot, but the same would not be said on Sunday. With the match tied at three, Northwestern claimed the team victory as Adam Schaechterle defeated Hoosier sophomore Michael McCarthy at the No. 5 singles positions in a pair of tiebreakers, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3).
Indiana jumped out to early lead with breakpoints in the second game at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions on its way to claiming the doubles point. Northwestern took the advantage in doubles with a victory at the No. 2 position, but the Hoosiers quickly evened it with a win at No. 3. Senior Neil Kenner and McCarthy continued to roll at the No. 3 slot with an 8-5 victory over Juan Gomez and Marc Dwyer. The Hoosier duo broke the Northwestern pair in the second game on its way to a 3-0 lead and the eventual victory. After opening 0-2 as a team, Kenner and McCarthy have reeled off seven straight victories, including a perfect 3-0 mark in Big Ten play.
Like the No. 3 positions, the Hoosiers' No. 1 tandem of senior Dmytro Ishtuganov and sophomore Dara McLoughlin jumped out to a 3-0 cushion. The pair notched their 10th victory of the season and improved to 3-2 in Big Ten play with an 8-5 win over Schaechterle and Matt Christian.
Ishtuganov started things off on the right foot for the Hoosiers with a straight-set win at the No. 1 positions. The Kiev, Ukraine native defeated his second ranked opponent of the season as he defeated No. 51 Christian Tempke, 7-6, 6-2. He defeated then-No. 120 Bryan Koniecko of Ohio State at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championship in November for his first victory over a ranked foe. Ishtuganov improved to 18-12 overall, while notching his second conference victory of the season.
"Dmytro is a good player," Hydinger said. "His losses this season have come to really good players. When Dmytro focuses and plays his game, he is a tough player."
After the Wildcats claimed wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions to even the match at two, Kenner notched a win at the No. 4 slot to regain the IU advantage. The Dallas, Texas native rolled past Marc Dwyer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. The win pushed Kenner's season-long winning streak to five matches and upped his record to 14-9. He also moved to 3-2 in Big Ten contests.
The Wildcats once again evened the match with a three-set victory at the No. 6 position. Junior Arnaud Roussel won the first set, 6-4, before Northwestern's Alexey Evstratenkov rallied to claim the final two sets and the point, 6-3, 6-2. The victory set up the dramatics at the decisive No. 5 position.
The Hoosiers return to action against No. 6 Ohio State on Friday, April 7. The match is slated for 1 p.m.
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