The IU men’s tennis team traveled to Memphis this weekend and battled with the Memphis Tigers in their first road match of the season. Both teams went back-and-forth, exchanging leads with one another in each set, but in the end the Hoosiers couldn't pull off the victory.
After picking up two victories in its season opener on their home floor over Ball State and Eastern Illinois, IU came into Memphis looking to keep their momentum going, but the Tigers were able to start off their own season with a win, beating the Hoosiers 5-2.
“The match could’ve went either way,” IU Coach Jeremey Wurtzman said. “We were up on all six courts and had chances to win every set on every court.”
The doubles point went quickly to the Tigers as Memphis won sets from both their No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams. IU’s No. 1 doubles team was leading its set 5-3, but it was left unfinished once Memphis won the other two doubles matches, clinching the doubles point.
The singles matches were a different story, however. Out of the six total singles matches, the Hoosiers won the first set in four of them. The only first sets lost by IU were lost in tiebreakers.
The results from there on out were fairly mixed, but mostly favored Memphis. IU Senior Raheel Manji and junior Antonio Cembellin both lost their matches in straight sets, with the first sets being more competitive than the second. After winning their first sets, neither sophomore Bennett Crane nor freshman Brandon Lam could finish the job, going on to lose their matches.
Despite these losses, Wurtzman was optimistic about the performances of his younger players.
“We just gotta start believing that we can close these guys out, especially against the teams that are the level of Memphis,” Wurtzman said. “Once we kind of get over that hump, that will help us believe it even more and I think we’ll be able to really come away with more victories as the season goes on.”
Sophomore Zac Brodney and senior Kievon Tabrizi both won their singles matches in straight sets. For Tabrizi, it was his first singles match of the season.
“It felt great to be out there with my teammates,” said Tabrizi. "I had a tough match but I fought well and I know I got us on the board.”
Tabrizi has been working his way back from an injury this season, so he was restricted to only playing doubles in IU’s opener against Ball State and Eastern Illinois. Against Memphis, he said he was ready to compete.
Wurtzman said he thought Tabrizi came out with a surge of energy.
"I was zoned in,” Tarbrizi said. “I competed very well and I had the mentality that I didn’t want to lose even a single point."
Tabrizi and the Hoosiers look to bring that exact energy with them to Los Angeles, California next weekend when they compete in a three-day tournament.
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