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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Men to face both ends of spectrum

Michigan on a streak, Michigan State sputtering in Big Ten play

This weekend will feature fire and ice for the men's tennis team.\nThe Hoosiers will head north to close out the regular season as they take on a hot Michigan club and a frostbitten Michigan State crew. IU, coming off of a split weekend with a loss to Ohio State and a win against Penn State, will enter the match at 12-6 with hopes of boosting its Big Ten record to 6-4 heading into next weekend's Big Ten Championships. \nSaturday, the Hoosiers will enter Ann Arbor, Mich., to try and take down a streaking-Michigan club which has won four of its last five conference matches including a big win against No. 24 Ohio Sate two weeks ago. \n"Michigan is going to be tough," junior Rahman Smiley said. "They are strong and really solid all the way down the lineup. They have had some quality wins against good teams like Ohio State, which shows their ability." \nLast year, the Hoosiers upended Michigan 5-2, but have not had great success against the Wolverines in the past. Michigan, a once dominant force in Big Ten tennis, has won seven of the last nine matches with the Hoosiers and holds a 48-12-1 cumulative record against IU. \nIU will then travel across the state to Lansing, where it will do battle with a young and depleted Michigan State team. After opening the season 5-1, the Spartans hit the wall, losing 14 of their last 16 matches, standing with one lone win in Big Ten play. \n"Michigan State is a struggling program right now," Smiley said. "They have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing and lack the experience that a lot of Big Ten teams have. But it will still be a fight because it is our last match and it will be theirs, too. They'll be hungry for a win."\nInexperience might play a part in the Spartans' woes this season. With a roster composed of six freshmen, five sophomores and one junior, Michigan State's leadership is young. But coach Ken Hydinger said the record does not always tell the whole truth.\n"You are talking about a Big Ten team," Hydinger said. "All Big Ten matches are tough and most of them are close. This is a 4-3 (match score) league. If the final isn't 4-3 then it is 5-2 with four three-setters."\nIU will enter the match looking to move up in the Big Ten standings for better seeding in the Big Ten Championships which will take place next weekend. The Hoosiers stand tied for fifth in the conference at 4-4. Two wins this weekend would likely move them into the top four heading into the tournament, a place where the Hoosiers said they would like to be. \nWith the Wolverines and Spartans standing in their way, the Hoosiers said they can accomplish the feat.\n"Both of these matches are matches we should win," senior Paul Jacobson said. "We are going to have to work for them, but there is no reason we shouldn't win"

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