Bloomington, Ind.- The Hoosiers will look to bounce back from a four-match losing streak when they host No. 75 DePaul and Butler on Saturday, March 1. IU plays the Blue Demons at 9:30 a.m. and the Bulldogs at 2:30 p.m.
Indiana holds a 2-0 mark against Butler. IU has downed the Bulldogs in Bloomington each of the last two seasons. This will mark the first meeting between Indiana and DePaul.
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The Butler Bulldogs enter the match with Indiana at 4-5. The Bulldogs won their last match against Toledo, 6-1. The Hoosiers beat the Bulldogs last season in Bloomington, 6-1.
The No. 75 DePaul Blue Demons come into Bloomington riding a two-match winning streak after downing conference foes Memphis and Cincinnati. The Memphis win is impressive because the Tigers were ranked No. 75 at the time.
DePaul is 9-6 on the season and has played two of the same opponents as the Hoosiers. DePaul lost to both Western Michigan (5-2) and Northwestern (7-0), while IU downed Western Michigan (4-3) to open the season, but also lost to Northwestern (7-0).
The Hoosiers started off the season strong with a 5-2 record. Since February 12, they have suffered four straight losses to Kentucky (7-0), Wisconsin (5-2), Northwestern (7-0) and Tennessee (7-0). However, the Hoosiers, now 5-6, have been tagged with all six of their losses to nationally ranked opponents all which hold spots in the top 35. Included in these is a February 1 loss to Duke who was ranked No. 4 at the time of the match, and now holds the No.1 position. The others include losses to No. 13 Wake Forest, No. 30 Kentucky, No. 33 Wisconsin, No. 11 Northwestern and No. 11 Tennessee. The schedule does not ease up on the Hoosiers as they still look to face eight ranked opponents over their final 14 matches.
Indiana's Last Time Out
Indiana dropped its fourth straight match, all to ranked opponents, at No. 11 Tennessee, 7-0. It was the second consecutive contest in which the Hoosiers had faced the 11th ranked team in the country. Northwestern was 11th the week previous.
Tennessee was able to sweep Indiana in both doubles and singles on their way to victory.
Returning to the Lineup
Injuries depleted the Hoosier lineup to the point that in the Duke and Wake Forest matches that IU only played with four players. They had to forfeit the No. 5 and No. 6 singles as well as the No. 3 doubles spot.
The Hoosiers got a much needed boost on February 8 and 9 when seniors Karie Schlukebir and J.J. Levin and freshman Sophie Rychlik all returned to the lineup.
Schlukebir, who returned a day earlier from having tests on cancer that had re-emerged in her body, led the Hoosiers to an inspirational win over Marquette, 4-3. She was forced to serve underhand, but was able to pull out a straight sets win at No. 5 singles to clinch the match.
Levin returned from surgery she had on her shoulder and posted a win on Saturday over Ball State in straight sets. It was her first win in almost a year. She also picked up a win a week later against No. 33 Wisconsin at the No. 6 position.