Ann Arbor, Mich.- The Indiana men's tennis team dropped its second straight Big Ten match of the season with a 4-3 loss at No. 68 Michigan. The No. 28 Hoosiers fell to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten, while Michigan upped its mark to 6-10 overall and 1-5 in conference.
"We did a great job in the doubles," Indiana interim head coach Matt Pledger said. "We came in looking at this as a way to take a step closer to getting a bye in the Big Ten Tournament and being a top 3 team in the Big Ten. Michigan was a team that was down having lost a lot of matches this season and they really had nothing to lose. That was the worst singles effort overall we have had as a team this season. We were focusing on all the negatives, and you can't do that especially on the road in the Big Ten."
The Hoosiers jumped out to a lead by claiming the doubles point for the third straight match. Indiana shook up the lineup in doubles once again and found a good result.
"We changed up the doubles lineup a little bit," Pledger said. "I realized that both Ryan and Viktor had played in different courts growing up. Viktor had played in the ad court growing up. He played with Zach today and was amazing. He looked a lot more natural out there. Ryan grew up playing the deuce court, and he played it last season with Rahman Smiley. It will be a change for the positive."
Senior Zach Held teamed with freshman Viktor Libal for the first time and the tandem walked away with an 8-3 over Michael Rubin and Anthony Jackson at the No. 1 doubles position. The duo is now 1-0 on the season. After dropping the No. 2 doubles spot, the Hoosiers clinched the point with a win at No. 3. Senior Petr Novotny and sophomore Jakub Praibis downed Vinny Gossain and David Anving, 8-4. The pair is 2-2 on the year and 2-1 in Big Ten play.
Michigan would not go away quietly and evened things up by taking the first singles match. At the No. 5 position, Josef Fischer downed Tom Bagnato in straight sets to tied it up at one. The Hoosiers regained the lead when sophomore Ryan Recht picked up a win at No. 6 singles. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, over Vinny Gossain. Recht is now 12-8 on the year and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
The lead however was short lived as Michigan once again evened it at two with a victory at the No. 2 position. Michigan's Anthony Jackson downed freshman Viktor Libal, 7-6 (5), 7-5. The match was tied at two with three matches going into third sets.
Michigan took its first led of the day with a win at No. 4. Senior Petr Novotny won the first set 7-5, but could not hold on as David Anving of Michigan roared back to win the final two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Michigan clinched the victory as Chris Shaya downed senior Zach Held, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-3.
Sophomore Jakub Praibis claimed the Hoosiers final point with a win at No. 1 singles. He downed Michael Rubin 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). The win was his second straight and upped his season mark to 13-6.
The Hoosiers will be on the road again tomorrow when they travel to East Lansing to battle the Spartans of Michigan State. The match carries a 12:00 p.m. start time. Last season, the Hoosiers downed the Spartans, 4-3, in Bloomington.
No. 68 Michigan 4, No. 28 Indiana 3
Singles No. 1 -- #81 Jakub Praibis (IU) d. Michael Rubin, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4)
No. 2 -- Anthony Jackson (U-M) d. Viktor Libal, 7-6(5), 7-5
No. 3 -- Chris Shaya (U-M) d. Zach Held, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 -- David Anving (U-M) d. Petr Novotny, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 -- Josef Fischer (U-M) d. Tom Bagnato, 6-2, 6-1
No. 6 -- Ryan Recht (IU) d. Vinny Gossain, 6-2, 6-2
Doubles No. 1 -- Held/Libal (IU) d. M. Rubin/Jackson, 8-3
No. 2 -- Shaya/ Chris Rolf (U-M) d. Recht/John Stone, 8-4
No. 3 -- Praibis/Novotny (IU) d. Gossain/Anving, 8-4