IU to Play LSU in NCAA First Round
May 3, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's tennis program is headed to the NCAA Championships for the second time in four years under head coach Randy Bloemendaal. The Hoosiers were among the field of 64 that the NCAA announced on Tuesday. The Hoosiers will travel to College Station, Texas, where they will play No. 34 LSU in first round action on May 13 at 11 a.m. CT. The Hoosiers, ranked 26th nationally by the ITA, broke the program record for wins in a season this year and matched the all-time best for Big Ten wins in a season.
Bloemendaal said it is a great to be headed back to the NCAA tournament after a two-year hiatus, and that hard work and dedication by his players is to be credited for the team's success this season.
"Our guys have practiced and played at a high level all year, starting in the summer and the fall," said Bloemendaal. "That work has paid off this season, and we're accomplishing one of our goals with a big into the NCAA tournament. I'm proud of the team and am looking forward to going to work to prepare for LSU."
The Hoosiers enter the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in program history and face off with an SEC program for the fourth time in first-round action. The Hoosiers last trip to the tournament, in 2008, saw Vanderbilt steal a 4-3 heartbreaker. Santiago Gruter returns from that team.
Indiana is 23-7 this season and finished 9-1 in the Big Ten, both all-time bests for the program. The Hoosiers are led by first team All-Big Ten players Jeremy Langer and Gruter and second team All-Big Ten performer Josh MacTaggart. Langer and Gruter man the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the singles lineup respectively and are the 44th-ranked doubles tandem in the nation with a 25-7 record in doubles play. MacTaggart has been dominant at the No. 3 singles spot this season and is ranked No. 109 nationally. The sophomore is 24-8 and 11-1 at the third spot in the lineup.
LSU is 11-13 on the season with eight of their losses coming to top-15 teams. The Tigers were 5-6 in the always tough SEC. They are led by 87th-ranked Neal Skupski and Sebastian Carlsson, who are ranked No. 8 by the ITA as a doubles tandem.
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