Indiana Daily Student

IU returns for 4-team tourney

After opening the season with a win at Notre Dame Jan. 25, the men's tennis team looks to continue its early success with a pair of matches Saturday at the Indiana Winter Invitational.\nThe 27th-ranked Hoosiers will play at home for the first time since April when they face Western Michigan at 9 a.m. and DePaul at about 2:30 p.m.\n"I have a better idea of the building dimensions (at home)," senior Paul Jacobson said. "On the road, you encounter rough crowds like we did last week in Notre Dame. I think that aspect affects a lot of guys on the team."\nThe opposing crowd did not stop the Hoosiers from pulling off the victory in South Bend, as the match came down to two upsets. One came from the doubles team of senior Ricardo Jordan and junior Rahman Smiley, and the other by senior Ian Arons. Arons knocked off the nation's 75th-ranked singles player, Javier Taborga, in consecutive sets (6-3, 6-3), and is coming into the weekend full of steam.\n"Before last weekend, I was not happy with the way I had been playing," Arons said. "I played an unbelievable match, and am using that as motivation in practice and hopefully in matches to come."\nArons' confidence comes at the right time. After a fall schedule consisting of individual tournaments, the team plays at least once a week until March 14. The team said it is concentrating on the match at hand, rather than looking too deep into the season.\n"Thursday at Notre Dame was the first time all year we went out on the court as a team," Arons said. "That alone brought out our concentration and intensity."\nIU's first opponent, Western Michigan, comes in at 2-3. The Broncos began the season with two convincing victories in Kalamazoo, but have since lost three consecutive matches to Big Ten schools.\nDePaul, the second team IU will face Saturday, also had problems with the Big Ten. Illinois and Michigan both dropped the Blue Demons. Kentucky will also be competing in the Invitational, but will not play the Hoosiers. But the two teams will face off March 10 in Lexington.\n"DePaul and Western Michigan are good teams," coach Ken Hydinger said. "We need to play well against both of them to come away with two wins, which we feel we are capable of doing."\nThe Hoosiers could use a sweep to move up in the rankings. The Hoosiers are aiming for a spot in the top 20, which will help when the conference season begins.\n"(A top-20 ranking) is what I am aiming for," Jacobson said. "Notre Dame was a solid win, but we can beat better teams. The two teams we play on Saturday will be very tough. If we do not prepare, there is no doubt we can get upset"

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