Men's Tennis

    Hoosiers Look to Get Back on the Winning Track

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    News Update

    April 3, 2002

    Hoosiers Look to Get Back on the Winning Track

    Current News Photo
    Senior Milan Rakvica looks to move into sole possession of fifth-place on the Indiana all-time sinlges wins list this weekend.
    Hoosiers Look to Get Back on Track
    The Hoosiers will try to snap their seven-game losing skid when the Wisconsin Badgers come to Bloomington on Saturday, April 6. IU and Wisconsin will square off at 12:00 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Courts.
    Indiana will then welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday, April 7th. That match will carry a 12:00 p.m. start time at the Varsity Tennis Courts.
    If the weather conditions prevent outside play, the matches will be moved into the Indiana Tennis Center.

    Inside the Numbers
    The Hoosiers lead the all-time series with the Badgers at 40-24, including a 17-8 mark in Bloomington. Indiana has won the last three matches between the two Big Ten foes, including a 4-3 win last season in Madison. The Badgers are ranked 55th according to the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings.
    Indiana has a losing record all-time against the Gophers at 35-43. Minnesota also holds a 10-13 advantage in Bloomington. The two teams did not square off last season, but the Gophers have won the last two meetings, including a 4-2 win in 1999-2000. Minnesota is currently ranked 27th by the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings.

    Match Results
    Complete match results will be made available on the web at following the event. Results can be viewed and printed out by choosing the men’s tennis link from the main menu. For more information, contact Kris Sears at (812) 855-9399 or through email at

    Indiana Coaching Staff
    Ken Hydinger is in his 18th season as head coach of the Hoosiers with an overall record of 270-184-1 and a 116-92 mark in Big Ten play. In his pervious 17 seasons at Indiana, Hydinger has led four teams to 20-win seasons and only two of his teams have finished with a sub-.500 record. Hydinger has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year once (1992), has produced 23 all-Big Ten Players and two Big Ten Freshman of the Year award winners.
    Coach Hydinger is assisted by Ondrej Holik, who returns for his fourth season at IU. A native of the Czech Republic, Holik competed at the Technical University Ostrava until arriving in the United States after his junior year in college. Before coming to IU, Holik played for the Broncos of Western Michigan University.

    Coach’s Comments
    Commenting on upcoming opponents Wisconsin and Minnesota:
    “It is a Big Ten match, we need a Big Ten win. We are playing at home, and I know that we have always had tough matches with Wisconsin. ”

    “Minnesota is in the top 20 in the country, and they beat South California out there. Sure they are going to be tough, they have a better record, so you expect them to be pretty tough.”

    Commenting on the play of senior Ari Widlansky:
    “Ari has played very hard. He has been running down a lot of balls and he is competing. He is just very hungry to win.”

    Commenting on the team struggling as of late:
    “It isn’t just on the road. We haven’t had a healthy line-up since January. We have had our No. 2 man out all the time. We had Zach Held out in a match against Middle Tennessee that we lost 4-3. Then Jakub (Praibis) was out of the line up, and then Milan (Rakvica) was out of the line up. The road hasn’t benn the struggle, our health has struggled. It would be a big time pleasure to have the whole team healthy, but I don’t know when that is going to be.”

    Commenting on coming home after two road matches:
    “We played at Purdue and Illinois. I think we are eager to play. They played hard there, and they will come out and play hard here. It isn’t a big deal on whether they play at home or on the road, they want to win.”

    Playing Top Notch Opponents
    The Hoosiers are 6-10 on the year, but the ten losses can look deceiving. Nine of those ten losses have come to opponents who are ranked or were previously ranked in the Omni Hotel’s Collegiate Rankings. Five of which are ranked in the top 40. The Hoosiers have lost to No. 3 Illinois, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 9 Kentucky , No. 36 Middle Tennessee State, and No. 37 Northwestern. Two other Hoosier losses have come to ranked opponents, No. 37 Vanderbilt and No. 52 Purdue. Indiana also lost to Louisville and Iowa, who were ranked at the time.

    Tough Stretch
    The Hoosiers next three opponents and five out of the last six are currently ranked in the ITA’s top 75. The difficult schedule includes two ranked opponents Minnesota at No. 20 and Wisconsin at No. 68 this weekend.

    Three Hoosier individuals pulled off upsets in the match against Notre Dame. Junior Zach Held and freshman Ryan Recht defeated the fifth-ranked team of Javier Taborga and Casey Smith. Recht and Held were playing only their fifth match of the year together and first of the spring. Senior Milan Rakvica also pulled off an upset of Notre Dame’s Taborga, 6-4, 6-4. Taborga is currently ranked 11th by the ITA.

    Moving up the Charts
    Senior Milan Rakvica has been moving up the Omni Hotels Collegiate Singles rankings. Over the last month, the Czech Republic native started out at 123rd before jumping to 109, settling in at 66th this week. Freshman Jakub Praibis has also been ranked this season. He started at 132nd before jumping up to 63rd. After suffering a hip injury, he fell from the rankings.

    Closing in on the Record Books
    Senior Milan Rakvica now sits in a tie for fifth-place on the Hoosiers’ career singles wins list with 88. He also is currently in seventh- place on the all-time doubles wins list with 66.

    All-time Singles wins
    1. Sven Salumaa- 108
    2. Gunnar Salumaa - 106
    3. David McCallum - 98
    4. Eion Collins - 95
    5. Milan Rakvica - 88
    5. David Russell - 88
    7. Paul Jacobson - 86
    8. David Held - 82
    9. Ian Arons - 77
    9. Charles Wright - 77
    9. Andrew Held - 77

    All-time Doubles wins
    1. Gunnar Salumaa - 77
    2. David McCallum - 75
    2. Derek Pope - 75
    4 Gabriel Montilla - 73
    5. Erik Barrett - 71
    6. Ian Arons - 70
    7. Milan Rakvica - 66
    8. Tom Weise - 65
    9. David Held - 62
    10. Andrew Held - 61

    Winning Streak
    Freshman Jakub Praibis had a nine-match winning streak before falling to Notre Dame’s Casey Smith.
    Praibis’ biggest upset came when he ousted the 39th-ranked Karim Benmansour of Kentucky, 6-2,6-3. With that victory his ITA ranking jumped from 135 to 63. He is currently 11-4 on the year.

    Firsts in the Big Ten
    Freshman Ryan Recht and senior Zach Held won their first Big Ten matches of the season against Iowa. Held picked up his first victory at the No. 2 position over Iowa’s Jake Wilson, 6-3, 6-2. Recht’s win was the first Big Ten victory of his career. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native also ousted Hunter Skogman, 6-4, 6-3.

    Hurting in All the Wrong Places
    With all of their injuries this season, the Hoosiers have been more suited for the hospital than the tennis court. The Hoosiers have been without Rahman Smiley, who is the teams No. 2 singles player and part of the No. 1 doubles team, for the last five matches. Smiley has had a chronic back injury. The Hoosiers No. 1 singles player Milan Rakvica missed the Iowa match due to a stomach virus. At the No. 3 spot, Hoosier freshman sensation Jakub Praibis has been hampered by a leg injury for the last few weeks. The Hoosiers have also had injuries to Zach Held (calf), Ryan Recht (hamstring), and Efriam Kandinov (ankle) this season.

    Growing Up
    Freshmen Ryan Recht, Tommy Bagnato and Jakub Praibis picked up the Hoosiers’ three points against Middle Tennessee State. Bagnato and Praibis both dropped the first set of their matches before rebounding to claim the point. Recht on the other
    hand swept through his opponent with ease, 6-2, 6-4. Bagnato sits at 12-12 on the year, while Praibis is 11-3 this season for the Hoosiers. Recht stands at 8-14 on the year.

    Career Day
    Freshmen Jullien Vulliez had a career day against the Evansville Purple Aces. The Ozoir La Ferriere, France native picked up both his first career doubles and first career singles victories. He teamed with senior Ari Widlansky to defeat Evanville’s Derrek Boland and Louis Arguellos, 8-2. Vulliez then ousted the Purple Aces’ Derrick Kincheloe in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

    Returning to the Lineup
    After sitting out the Vanderbilt match due to a back injury, senior Rahman Smiley returned to the lineup against Middle Tennessee. Although Smiley dropped both of his doubles and singles matches, he played top competition and competed well. Smiley teamed with freshman Ryan Recht and lost a close 9-7 match to the No. 9 team in the nation, Oliver Foreman and Robert Gustafsson of MTSU. Smiley then lost his singles match to Gustafsson, who is ranked 27th, 7-6(5), 6-3.

    NO Quit
    Despite trailing 3-1 to the Vanderbilt Commodores, the Hoosiers mustered up the stamina to even the match before falling, 4-3.
    Senior Milan Rakvica, freshman Jakub Praibis, and junior Zach Held all battled back from one set down to force three set matches. Rakvica and Praibis both picked up wins. Held put up a strong fight, but fell in the third, 6-4.

    Monkey Off His Back
    Freshman Ryan Recht got the monkey off his back by picking up his first dual match victory of his collegiate career. Recht defeated Lewis Smith of Vanderbilt, 6-4, 7-6, in a hard fought match. He now sits at 8-14 on the year.

    Heart of a Champion
    After not practicing all week and not playing singles in the first match of the weekend and doubles in the second, senior Rahman Smiley won his match against the Murray State Racers. Smiley played despite a severe back injury and defeated Thiago Gondim, 6-4, 7-5.

    Finding New Ways to Win
    The Hoosiers dropped the doubles point for the first time against the Southwest Missouri State Bears. The Hoosiers followed suit by losing the point against Murray State as well. Despite losing both points, the Hoosiers won four of the six and five of the six singles matches against the Bears and Racers, respectively, to win both matches.

    Home Sweet Home
    All six of the Hoosiers’ victories this season have come at home. In contrast, Indiana is 0-6 on the road and 0-1 in its lone neutral court match.

    Fantastic Freshmen
    The Hoosiers play five freshmen in their top eight positions. In singles the Hoosiers start a line-up that includes freshmen at the No. 3, No. 5 and 6 spots. In doubles, freshman Ryan Recht plays No. 1 doubles with senior Rahman Smiley, and at the third doubles spot the Hoosiers use the freshmen duo of Reid Strand and Jakub Praibis.
    Recht has a doubles record of 13-10 this season including a 7-5 record with Smiley as his partner. The doubles team of Strand and Praibis are 5-6 as a team this spring. In singles, freshman Tommy Bagnato is 6-5 this spring and 12-12 overall. Praibis is also 11-3 this spring after joining the Hoosiers mid-season.

    Senior Rahman Smiley (pronounced Ra-Mon) has been solid as a rock for the Hoosiers at the No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles spots. Smiley has teamed with freshman Ryan Recht to win all three spring doubles matches. The Union, New Jersey native is currently 10-8 in singles and 7-5 in doubles this season.
    With 68 career singles victories Smiley is only 9 victories away from cracking IU’s top 10 list in career wins. He is also only seven doubles victories away from breaking into that career top 10. Smiley currently has a 54-39 record as a doubles player for his career.

    Eye Opener
    Freshman Jakub Praibis opened some eyes in his first match as a Hoosier. The Czech Republic native came back from down one set to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the No. 2 singles spot against Toledo.

    New to the Program
    The Hoosiers recently added two new recruits to the mix. Freshmen Jakub Praibis and Jullien Vulliez have joined IU at mid-season and will add to the depth of the team. Praibis joins the Hoosiers via the Czech Republic and Vulliez from Paris, France.

    Youth Movement
    The Hoosiers return only four players from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. Seniors Milan Rakvica, Rahman Smiley, Ari Widlansky, and junior Zach Held are the lone returners. Eight freshmen make up the rest of Indiana’s rosters.

    Wet Behind the Ears
    The Hoosier freshmen racked up some impressive records during the fall season. Ryan Recht collected a singles record of 5-6 and a doubles record of 7-2 during the fall. Recht teamed with senior Rahman Smiley to advance to the finals of the Clemson Classic Doubles tournament and then paired with junior Zach Held advancing to the finals of the Bracket “A” Doubles of the Louisville Invitational. Tommy Bagnato posted a singles record of 6-7 this fall and was labeled the “most consistent” freshman by Coach Hydinger. Efriam Kandinov amassed a fall singles record of 4-3, while advancing to the finals of the Flight “B” Bracket at the Louisville Invitational.

    Preseason rankings
    After the fall season, senior Milan Rakvica was ranked 87th by the ITA. The Czech Republic native was also ranked 19th in the Midwest region.

    Leading the Way
    Leadership starts at the top and works its way down. With only four upperclassmen and eight freshman, Coach Ken Hydinger has selected senior Rahman Smiley and junior Zach Held as the captains for this year’s squad.

    Two is Better than One
    The Hoosiers have a set of twins on the squad this season. Efriam and Michael Kandinov hail from Jamaica Estates, N.Y. The duo finished their prep career ranked No. 22 nationally in doubles. Efriam advanced to the fifth round of the National Open Singles tournament in Florida this past summer. Michael also participated in the event.

    Family Ties
    Indianapolis, Ind. native Zach Held is now comfortably at home. After spending one season at Michigan, he transferred to IU, where his two older brothers (David, 1990-93, and Andrew, 1995-97) spent their collegiate days.

    Highly Regarded
    The senior duo of Milan Rakvica and Rahman Smiley were seeded in the top 12 at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships. Rakvica was the second-ranked player, while Smiley came in seeded 12th.

    Big Ten Killer
    Senior Rahman Smiley has killed Big Ten competition going 21-12 for his career. Last season, Smiley became only the 11th Hoosier to win 10 matches in Big Ten play. With two more wins in conference play he will move into 10th place on the all-time Indiana Big Ten wins list.




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