Men's Tennis Fall Season Review
Dec. 4, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - First-year Head Coach Randy Bloemendaal recently wrapped up his first fall season at the helm of the IU men's tennis program, guiding his squad in a competitive fall slate. The Hoosiers' fall schedule included a doubles tournament championship and three singles wins over nationally-ranked opponents.
"I feel we are ahead of schedule," said Bloemendaal. "We are moving in the right direction, working toward our goals of winning championships."
The 2007-08 campaign began with the Cream and Crimson splitting up to compete at a pair of early season tournaments. Three Hoosiers traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships while three others went north for the Tom Fallon Invitational on the campus of Notre Dame University. At the All-American Championships, redshirt freshman Phillip Eilers won three matches in the pre-qualifier to join Senior Thomas Richter in the qualifying draw. Richter's preseason national ranking of No. 51 automatically placed him into the qualifying draw.
Eilers continued his hot play with a first round victory over No. 62 Roy Sichel of Charlotte, 6-4, 6-1. His run finally came to an end in the next round as he was forced to play another nationally-ranked opponent, while Richter was downed in the opening round.
Junior Peter Antons and freshman Santiago Gruter began their seasons at the Tom Fall Invitational, posting 3-1 singles marks and pairing up to go 2-2 in doubles action. Like Gruter, fellow freshman Jai Yoon earned his first collegiate win in the opening weekend. Yoon paired up with Notre Dame's Patrick Callaghan in an 8-5 doubles triumph.
Next up for IU was the University of Louisville Invitational which showcased Antons and Gruter's stellar team chemistry once again with a perfect 4-0 record and Doubles Flight A championship. The tandem finished the fall season at 6-2 overall as partners. In addition to the doubles success, Antons and Gruter also each won their first two singles matches in the Singles A Flight before falling in the quarterfinals.
While Antons and Gruter were competing in Louisville, the Hoosier trio of Eilers, Richter and senior Dara McLoughlin were preparing for play at the ITA Midwest Regional a few days later. Richter earned his second victory over a top-100 player by downing conference foe Jeremy Sonkin from Wisconsin, 6-1, 6-4. Richter ripped of three wins before bowing out in the quarterfinals. McLoughlin also advanced in the singles draw with a first round victory. In doubles action, Eilers and Richter played together, winning a pair of contests before being eliminated.
Indiana wrapped up the fall schedule at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships with six Hoosiers making the trip together. Richter and McLoughlin were able to reach the quarterfinals once again, and Eilers nearly joined them in the final eight after dropping a third set tie-breaker in the round of 16. In the consolation bracket, Yoon seized two W's and Antons grabbed a win as well.
"These guys have been working extremely hard this semester," said Bloemendaal. "They are on the courts constantly, improving their game with their eyes locked in on our goals. The spring schedule is our next step towards reaching those goals, and the team is putting in a lot of work in order to take that step as a program."
The Hoosiers are set to continue play at the Clemson Winter Shootout from Dec. 30-Jan. 5. Indiana will then play its first dual match of the year, hosting Cleveland State and Morehead State on Jan. 21. Big Ten action begins on Feb. 2 at Iowa.
Check back soon