Indiana Seeded Fifth at Big Ten Championship
April 27, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 59 Indiana men's tennis team earned the No. 5 seed in the 2006 Big Ten Championship. The Hoosiers will face No. 4 seed Michigan on Friday, April 28, at 11:00 a.m. EST. The Big Ten Championship will be hosted by Minnesota at the Baseline Tennis Center. Indiana enters the championship with an overall record of 16-9 and a Big Ten ledger of 5-5.
The Hoosiers finished in a tie for fifth in the conference standings with Penn State and Northwestern, but took the fifth spot by virtue of their combined nine points in the matches against the Nittany Lions and Wildcats. IU won at then-No. 39 Penn State, 6-1, on March 24, before falling to then-No. 59 Northwestern, 4-3, at the IU Tennis Center on April 2. Penn State defeated Northwestern in University Park, Pa., 6-1, on March 31.
Ohio State is the top seed in the championship after winning the regular season title with a perfect 10-0 record. The Buckeyes will face the winner of No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 9 Purdue. The winner of Michigan/Indiana will face the winner of that match in the first semifinal of the championship. Below are the seeds and matchups for the Big Ten Championship:
Friday, April 28
Saturday, April 29
Sunday, April 30
Scouting No. 38 Michigan
The Hoosier-Wolverine matchup will be the second in as many weeks. Michigan pulled out a close, 4-3, victory with a win at the No. 6 singles position in a dual match that lasted four hours and 45 minutes. Five of Michigan's 10 losses have come at the hands of teams ranked among the top 11 nationally at the time of the match.
Andrew Mazlin leads Michigan in singles victories with 18, while Ryan Heller ranks second with 17. Heller, whose sister, Stephanie, competes for the IU 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 23-8 overall and ranked No. 10 in the country.
Last Time Out against Michigan
With the match even at three, the outcome came down to the No. 6 position. Junior Arnaud Roussel and Michigan's Scott Bruckmann split the first two sets with Roussel claiming the second, 6-3, and Bruckmann taking the first in a tiebreaker. Roussel appeared to be in control of the match leading, 5-4, after the two players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games. The momentum came to a screeching halt for the junior transfer.
On the opening point of his service game, Roussel experience sereve cramps in his quadriceps, and the match was delayed while Roussel received medical attention. Bruckmann took advantage as he went on to break Roussel twice over the next three games and claim the decisive third set, 7-5, and the team victory for Michigan.
The Hoosiers dung themselves an early hole as Michigan swept the doubles to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Neil Kenner quickly evened things up for IU with the only straight-set victory of the day. Kenner won his ninth straight match of the season, 6-4, 6-3, over Mike Peretz at the No. 4 position. The win improved Kenner's season mark to 18-9 overall and 7-2 in conference action.
Sophomore Dara McLoughlin claimed his team-leading 22nd victory at the No. 3 position, giving IU a 2-1 cushion. McLoughlin won his ninth three-set match of the season, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, over Andrew Mazlin. He improved to 6-4 in Big Ten singles competition.
After three-set victories at the No. 5 and No. 1 positions gave Michigan a 3-2 lead, junior David Bubenicek knotted the match at three to set up the dramatics at No. 6. Bubenicek improved to 21-10 overall with a 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-3 win at the No. 2 slot over Ryan Heller. He evened his Big Ten record at 5-5 on the year, while notching his 15th dual-match victory of the season.
Bubenicek defeated Adam Monich of Michigan State at the No. 2 singles position, 6-3, 6-1, on April 21. He then improved to 21-10 overall with a 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 win over Michigan's Ryan Heller on April 23. McCarthy notched his milestone victory 6-1, 6-0 over Scott Rasmussen of Michigan State at the No. 5 slot. McCarthy is 20-16 on the year.
In wins over Iowa and Minnesota, McLoughlin and 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 then-No. 59-ranked D.J. Geatz of Minnesota on April 15. McLoughlin continues to lead the Hoosiers with 22 victories.
The Hoosiers have a chance to get five, 20-win players with senior Neil Kenner, who has 18 wins. If Kenner reached the 20-win plateau, the 2005-06 Hoosiers would equal the school record for 20-win players in a season with five. IU teams have accomplished the feat on four occasions in 1999-00, 1992-93, 1990-91 and 1989-90. Here is a list of the 20-win players from those seasons:
1999-00 - Paul Jacobson (27), Milan Rakvica (25), Rahman Smiley (23), Gabriel Montilla (23), George McGill (20)
1992-93 - Erik Barrett (24), Mark Ableman (23), Chris Angell (20), George Wiese (20), Nigel Russell (20)
1990-91 - Gunnar Salumaa (24), Chris Decker (23), David Russell (22), David McCallum (21), Nigel Russell (20)
1989-90 - Gunnar Salumaa (27), David McCallum (24), David Russell (22), Chris Decker (22), David Held (21)
Ishtuganov Knocks Off Ranked Opponents
After playing in the starting lineup sparingly in his first two years as a Hoosier, Ishtuganov has made his presence felt as a senior. He owns a record of 21-14 overall with a 5-5 Big Ten ledger. Ishtuganov also is 14-10 at the No. 1 singles position. In his first two season, he played in only 17 combined dual matches, mainly at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions.
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