April 19, 2006
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 58 Indiana men's tennis team will close out the Big Ten regular season with matches against Michigan State and No. 39 Michigan. Indiana hosts the Spartans at 1 p.m., on Friday, April 21, before squaring off with the Wolverines at noon on Sunday, April 23. The Hoosiers have won two straight and 10 of their last 12 matches. It will mark the final home matches for IU seniors Neil Kenner and Dmytro Ishtuganov.
Scouting No. 39 Michigan
The Wolverines will play at Penn State on Friday, April 21, before traveling to Bloomington to battle the Hoosiers. Michigan is currently 11-9 on the year with a 5-3 mark in Big Ten play. The Maize and Blue are ranked No. 39 nationally in the latest Fila/ITA rankings released on April 18.
Michigan has lost two straight matches heading into the weekend. Both came at the hands of top-10 foes, as the Wolverines fell to then-No. 7 Illinois, 6-1, and then-No. 8 Ohio State, 7-0. Five of Michigan's nine losses have come at the hands of teams ranked among the top 11 nationally at the time of the match.
Ryan Heller and Andrew Mazlin lead Michigan in singles victories with 17 apiece. Heller, whose sister, Stephanie, competes for IU's women's team, plays primarily at the No. 3 position, while Mazlin is at the No. 4 spot. Matko Maravic is the Wolverines top player. He is currently ranked No. 39 nationally in the Fila/ITA rankings. Maravic and Brian Hung make up the top doubles squad for Michigan. The duo is 22-8 overall and ranked No. 11 in the country.
Michigan holds the edge in the all-time series at 47-13. Last season, Michigan notched a 5-2 victory in Ann Arbor. Junior David Bubenicek picked up one of two Hoosier singles victories. IU won a 4-3 decision the last time the teams met in Bloomington during the 2004 campaign.
Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans enter the match with Indiana on a four-game losing streak. On April 15, Michigan State fell to 7-15 overall and 1-7 in Big Ten play with a 6-1 loss to then-No. 8 Ohio State. Also included in the losing streak were defeats at the hands of then-No. 52 Minnesota (6-1), then-No. 7 Illinois (5-2) and Purdue (4-3).
Prior to the losing streak, the Spartans boasted a season-long three-match winning streak. MSU's lone Big Ten win came during the stretch, a 5-2 victory over Iowa.
Nick Rinks is the top singles player for the Spartans. He owns an impressive record of 27-9 overall. Rinks is 14-6 at the No. 1 singles position in dual matches and is ranked No. 101 nationally in the Fila/ITA rankings. Rinks and Adam Monich comprise the top doubles team for the Spartans. The duo has an overall record of 20-12.
The Hoosiers own a 48-19 advantage in the series with Michigan State, having won six of the last seven matches between the two schools. IU claimed a 6-1 victory at Michigan State last season. Senior Dmytro Ishtuganov claimed one of the five IU singles victories on the day.
On April 15, the Hoosiers did something they haven't done in 21 years by winning in Minneapolis. IU defeated then-No. 38 Minnesota, 5-2, to snap a 13-match losing streak against the Golden Gophers. It marked the first win over Minnesota in Minneapolis since April 6, 1985. It also was the first win over Minnesota since a 4-3 victory on Feb. 21, 1997 in Bloomington. The win also was the second this season against a top-40 opponent on the road for the Hoosiers.
Haven't We Met Before
The Hoosiers and Spartans are no strangers to one another as the two teams met at the Cincinnati Collegiate Invitational last September. While the event was not scored in terms of team competition, IU and MSU squared off as individuals in singles competition in a No. 1-6 format and in a No. 1-3 doubles setup. IU claimed four of the six singles, while Michigan State took two of three doubles spots. Sophomores Dara McLoughlin and Michael McCarthy along with senior Neil Kenner and junior David Bubenicek won in single against the Spartans. Seniors Dmytro Ishtuganov and Kenner claimed the lone doubles win for IU as they teamed to knock off Nick Rinks and Adam Monich at No. 1 doubles, 9-7.
Cincinnati Collegiate Invitational Results
Indiana vs. Michigan State Singles
Nick Rinks (MSU) def. Dmytro Ishtuganov (IU); 6-2, 6-3
Dara McLoughlin (IU) def. Adam Monich (MSU); 6-7 (5), 6-3, 11-9
Neil Kenner (IU) def. Michael Flowers (MSU); 6-1, 6-0
Michael McCarthy (IU) def. Scott Rasmussen (MSU); 6-1, 7-6 (4)
David Bubenicek (IU) def. John Allare (MSU); 6-2, 6-2
Mike Brown (MSU) def. Peter Antons (IU); 6-3, 6-3
Indiana vs. Michigan State Doubles
Ishtuganov/Kenner (IU) def. Rinks/Monich (MSU); 9-7
Brown/Flowers (MSU) def. McCarthy/McLoughlin (IU); 9-7
Rasmussen/Allare (MSU) def. Antons/Bubenicek (IU); 8-6
In wins over Iowa and Minnesota, sophomore Dara McLoughlin and senior Dmytro Ishtuganov became the first Hoosiers to eclipse the 20-win plateau this season. McLoughlin won his 20th with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Iowa's J.P. Ritchie on April 14, while Ishtuganov accomplished the feat in style with a straight-set, 6-3, 6-3, win over No. 59-ranked D.J. Geatz of Minnesota on April 15. McLoughlin leads the Hoosiers with 21 victories.
IU equaled the number of 20-win players from the 2004-05 season and has a chance to add to that total. Junior David Bubenicek and sophomore Michael McCarthy each have 19 wins on the season, while senior Neil Kenner has 16. The Hoosiers have a chance to have their most 20-match winners since the 1999-00 season. In fact, the Hoosiers had five players with 20-or-more singles victories during that season.
Ishtuganov Knocks Off Ranked Opponents
In the span of three weeks, senior Dmytro Ishtuganov has defeated a pair of top-60 foes on his way to garnering 20 wins on the season. After not playing well in doubles against Minnesota, the Kiev, Ukraine native turned it around in singles with a straight-set victory over then-No. 59 D.J. Geatz. On April 2, Ishtganov defeated then-No. 51 Christian Tempke of Northwestern in straight sets. After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, Ishtuganov rolled though Tempke, 6-2, in the second to claim the victory. In total, he has three victories over ranked foes this season. Earlier in the year, Ishtuganov defeated then-No. 120 Bryan Koniecko, 6-2, 6-1, of Ohio State at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championship in November for his first victory over a ranked foe.
Moving on Up
The Hoosiers reached their highest ranking of the season at No. 58 in the latest Fila/ITA Rankings (April 18). The Hoosiers moved back into the poll for the first time in over a month at No. 66 on April 4. It was the first appearance in the poll since IU fell from the rankings on March 1.
Indiana's previous highest ranking this season was No. 60. IU earned that ranking on three occasions, including the first poll of the season on Jan. 10. The Hoosiers were also No. 60 on Feb. 7 and Feb. 14.
Senior Dmytro Ishtuganov also earned the first national singles ranking of the year for the Hoosiers. The Kiev, Ukraine native garnered the No. 112 spot in the most recent rankings.