June 1, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
IUHoosiers.com takes a look back at the 2007-08 IU men's tennis team's accomplishments via a season-in-review...
Indiana began the 2007-08 campaign by splitting up the squad and sending a trio of players to a pair of tournaments beginning on Sept. 28. Seniors Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter, along with redshirt freshman Phillip Eilers headed to the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships down in Tulsa, Oklahoma while junior Peter Antons and freshmen Santiago Gruter and Jai Yoon went north for a tournament held at Notre Dame. Antons and Gruter each posted 3-1 singles records and 2-2 marks in doubles play while in South Bend.
ANTONS AND GRUTER CROWNED AT UNIV. OF LOUISVILLE TOURNAMENT
Antons and Gruter captured the Flight "A" doubles championship at the University of Louisville Invitational. The tandem won four consecutive matches over the weekend to accomplish the feat. Each Hoosiers won their first two singles matches as well before falling in the quarterfinals. For the season, that tandem went 22-9 overall.
ITA REGIONAL AND BIG TEN INDOORS
McLoughlin and Richter each advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships while also teaming up at the ITA Midwest Regional for a pair of doubles victories. Richter was able to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Regional as well. Yoon earned the first two wins of his collegiate career at the Big Ten Indoors.
CLEMSON WINTER SHOOTOUT
FAST OUT OF THE GATES
Indiana had a successful trip at the Clemson Winter Shootout in January to begin the new year. The Hoosiers crowned both the singles and doubles champions in the round robin format competition.
Eilers arose victorious in all four of his matches to win the singles competition. He rolled to his perfect record, never allowing an opponent to reach four wins in a set. The Hoosiers dominated the doubles play as well, posting a 15-3 overall record. Richter and redshirt freshman Lachlan Ferguson took home the tournament crown by going 5-0 on the weekend.
Indiana rolled through their first four dual matches en route to a 4-0 start, pounding each adversary with a 7-0 sweep. The Hoosiers dominated the competition by winning 35 of the 36 individual matches, dropping only a lone doubles contest.
Indiana seized an intense 4-3 victory over #47 Kentucky for their fifth win of the year. The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker while the overall team score was decided by a three-set match in the No.1 singles match.
Senior leadership was key to the Hoosier's victory. In addition to winning the doubles point, Indiana's other three team points were provided by the trio of seniors, Michael McCarthy, Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter, arising victorious in their respective singles contests.
The Cream and Crimson then won five of their next eight bouts to complete the non-conference portion of the schedule.
BIG TEN ACTION
Indiana went 5-5 in the conference, including a huge 5-2 victory over #15 Michigan on the last weekend. The Hoosiers earned the No. 6 seed for the Big Ten Tournament. Their opening round match versus Northwestern resulted in a 4-0 sweep in favor of the Hooisers. IU then fell to Illinois in the next round.
NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE
First-year Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal wasted little time cementing his name in the IU tennis lore, guiding his Hoosiers to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2001. Indiana drew Vanderbilt for their opening round match down in Oxford, Miss. It was a trip that will not soon be forgotten, packed with loads of intense, tight action.
The excitement began with IU's No. 1 doubles duo of McLoughlin and Richter battle back from a huge deficit early in their match to clinch the doubles point via a 9-7 tiebreaker win. Antons and Gruter also won while the other doubles match went unfinished.
The four-hour-and-53-minute-long marathon match continued with singles play being as close as one could imagine. Three of the six singles contests went into a third-set tiebreaker, including the final one that would determine the overall team outcome. The Hooseirs won two of the three tiebreakers, but unfortunately did not get the last one; dropping a 4-3 decision to the Commodores.
ALL-TIME DOUBLES WINS
McLoughlin continued his ascent up the IU all-time doubles wins ladder at the NCAAs, winning his 67th career doubles contest and moving into eighth place in school history. Richter has also racked up 60+ doubles victories, winning 23 at Birmingham-Southern and 42 while donning the Cream and Crimson.
DOUBLES, NO TROUBLES
A big reason for the Hoosiers' successful season was their superb doubles play. In 26 dual matches, IU won 52 of 75 (69.3%) doubles matches, while claiming the doubles point in 20 of 26 contests.
The Hoosiers had a trio of players that were all capable of being the team's top player on any given day. Richter, McLoughlin and Eilers each manned the No. 1 singles slot multiple times this season. Together, the group posted a 14-11 mark in that position.
RICHTER DOWNS RANKED FOES
Richter earned his fifth win over a top-100 opponent on the year by topping #53 Ryan Preston of Vanderbilt in the NCAAs on May 10. He went 5-5 versus nationally-ranked opponents on the year with additional wins over #87 Jeremy Sonkin (Wisconsin), #53 Kevin Dessauer (LSU) and #41 Austen Childs (Louisville), #47 Matko Maravic (Michigan).