Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers ready for competition

Lachlan Ferguson has worked hard to improve his game and turn the IU men’s tennis team into a national contender.

His efforts helped the Hoosiers reach the Big Ten tournament semifinals a year ago, but the junior is ready for even more as he and his teammates prepare for the 2009-10 season.

Ferguson, a native of Adelaide, Australia, played No. 1 singles for the Hoosiers last year, finishing 22-13 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play.

He won’t hit the court for this weekend’s Hoosier Invitational, but he’s anxious to see some of the younger players in action.

“It will be interesting to see how some of these new guys that are returning,” Ferguson said. “I want to see if they can step it up.

“A lot of these guys haven’t played team tennis before, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to that dynamic. So far, they are doing great.”

Three of the four IU freshmen – Tommy Ailber, Isade Juneau and Josh MacTaggart – will get their first college tennis action at the Hoosier Invitational that begins Friday, which will be played on the IU Varsity Courts.

The field includes No. 10 Tennessee and No. 22 Louisville,  along with Western Michigan, Southern Illinois, Xavier and Cleveland State.

Alex van Gils, a native of Tutzing, Germany, will not play.

The four players have worked all summer to prepare for this season, but IU men’s tennis coach Randy Bloemendaal said this weekend’s tournament will be a true indicator of where they are.

Sophomores Jeremy Langer and Will Kendall and junior Santiago Gruter will also participate.

“I’ve seen these guys working hard, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they compete, how they handle certain situations, adversity,” he said. “It’s their first real test against college players, so it will be interesting to see how they do.”

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