IU men’s tennis split another doubleheader Friday as the Hoosiers swept the Marquette Golden Eagles, but they fell just one set shy of taking down the Drake Bulldogs.
Both matches ended with senior Keivon Tabrizi on the court. Against Marquette, IU led 2-0 before junior Afonso Salgado and Tabrizi won their matches within minutes of each other to clinch the 4-0 victory.
IU was tied with Drake at three points apiece as Tabrizi fought through a match-deciding third set. In the end, Tabrizi’s opponent out-dueled him to secure a 4-3 Drake win.
“It obviously stings losing a tight 4-3 match to Drake,” IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “We were right there on a lot of courts but couldn’t get the fourth point.”
Even though Tabrizi lost the match, Wurtzman was happy with the team's support all the way through.
Since Tabrizi was the last one playing, the team was lined up beside his court cheering him on through the entirety of the critical third set.
“We talk a lot about how important it is to be a team out there, and it felt like for the most part, we’re doing a good job with that,” Wurtzman said.
Once the match ended though, the Hoosier players could only stand by and watch as Tabrizi’s opponent was mobbed by his own teammates in celebration.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the ‘W,’” IU senior Raheel Manji said. "But this team has a lot of potential when we’re all clicking, and we’ll try to get some great wins down the line.”
Even though they couldn’t pick up one of the win against Drake, it should be noted that many players did have success throughout the two matches.
In total, six different players picked up victories for IU. Manji, as well as sophomores Bennett Crane and Zac Brodney, won their singles matches in the losing effort to the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, Tabrizi, junior Afonso Salgado and freshman Andrew Redding all picked up wins against Marquette.
For Brodney, he extended his individual win streak to four matches in a row, and for Redding, it was his third victory this year.
“Andrew’s another great player, freshman that’s just trying to get experience right now,” Wurtzman said. “Our bench is very deep and we have a lot of options. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out who you’re going to play.”
Wurtzman will have plenty of time to prepare his lineup and his team for their next matchup against Nortwestern, as the nine-day gap between matches for IU will be the longest they will have all season.
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