Men's Tennis

    Rivalry Road Trip, IU Travels to Purdue and Illinois

    Go Hoosiers! Lachlan Ferguson
    Go Hoosiers!
    Lachlan Ferguson
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 11, 2008

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The #38 Indiana University men's tennis team (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) hit the road this weekend after hosting three straight matches last week. Its rivalry week for the Hoosiers as they head up to West Lafayette for a showdown with the #75 Boilermakers of Purdue (8-10, 2-4) before continuing play on Sunday at #16 Illinois (13-6, 5-1).

    "Purdue is a very dangerous team for us for a number of reasons," said Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal. "Home court advantage and solid doubles play at home will make Purdue a tough opponent."

    "Illinois is one of the top teams in the country" added Bloemendaal. "The top of their singles and doubles line-up is very solid."

    Illinois was the NCAA runner-up a season ago and have three individuals ranked in the nation's top-100 currently. The Hoosiers hold the advantage in both all-time series, leading the Fighting Illini 44-26 and over Purdue, 50-26-1.

    "We have had a solid week of practice, as we continue to overcome some sickness and injuries I believe the team is showing signs of a breakthrough," said Bloemendaal.

    Seniors Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter have compiled 61 and 59 career doubles victories, respectively, while donning the Cream and Crimson. McLoughlin is 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. Richter's career total would not qualify for the IU record books as 23 of his doubles victories came while he was at Birmingham-Southern.

    A big reason for the Hoosiers' early season success has been their superb doubles play. Through the first 19 dual matches, IU has won 41 of 57 (71.9%) doubles matches, while claiming the doubles point in 16 of 19 contests.



    Peter Antons and Santiago Gruter lead the way with an 11-4 record this spring. They are 20-6 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 a few weeks ago, and the results have been very positive. During the recent stretch, Phillip Eilers and Lachlan Ferguson have manned the No. 1 doubles slot, going 5-3, while Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter have played second doubles and won seven of eight contests.

    Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal is closing in on a career milestone, just six coaching victories away from the 200-wins plateau.

    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 39-18 (68.4%) on the year.

    The Hoosiers have a trio of players that are all capable of being the team's top player on any given day. Seniors Thomas Richter and Dara McLoughlin, along with redshirt freshman Phillip Eilers have all manned the No. 1 singles slot multiple times this season. Together, the group has posted a 10-9 mark in that position.

    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 (#15), Illinois (#16), Wisconsin (#32), Penn State (#47) and the #38 Indiana Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes of Iowa are just outside the top-50, coming in at #53 in the country.


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