IU will be heading to the East Coast to face No. 65 Cornell and No. 38 Princeton on Thursday and Friday to round off its final two matches before its Big Ten opener against Purdue.
The No. 58 Hoosiers are on a four-match losing streak heading into these two matches, but Cornell and Princeton are also on losing streaks.
IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said he is looking for a win this weekend, especially after the team went through a tough run of away matches.
“We obviously play these matches,” Wurtzman said. “We don’t want to play them to compete. I think there is a process that goes along with that, and we are trying to do a good job of being a strong team on the court.”
Cornell has lost its two most recent matches to Penn State and Princeton by scores of 4-3 and 5-1 respectively.
Princeton also lost its last match to Alabama 4-1, but Wurtzman said he is paying little heed to the their records, as both are quality opponents.
“I think they’re both very good,” Wurtzman said. “Cornell has gotten good the last few years. They have definitely been up the rankings. They’re both NCAA level teams.”
The team is also looking forward to facing their Ivy League opponents this week, and said the Hoosiers have made a number of improvements.
“I think even though we lost at Kentucky, we showed a lot of improvement and energy in our game,” senior Daniel Bednarczyk said. “We brought out a lot of success. We have a lot of success playing in the East Coast against Ivys so we are very excited to go play this week.”
The team is also seeking its first road win of the year before they travel to face Purdue on March 8.
“A win now is going to help us build momentum for the Big Ten,” Bednarczyk said. “We are playing away against Purdue, and that’s going to be a tough place to go because we are rivals, obviously.”
Despite the losses, the team is also still keeping focus on the goal they set at the start of the season, which is to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
“I think they’re hungry,” Wurtzman said. “They’re still motivated and are getting better results. Just because we don’t have the result in the W column doesn’t mean that the team is not improving and getting better as a team. Everyone is still on board and going towards the same goal at the start of the season.”
Even though IU is on a losing streak, Wurtzman said he believes there are tangible signs of improvement.
He is quick to point out IU already has a win against a ranked opponent and the team is more focused on what is ahead than the past.
“I think the improvements has already shown, and it’s not that long ago we beat a very good Washington team and it was close against Notre Dame,” Wurtzman said. “It’s not like we’ve been totally outclassed in all our matches. We’re definitely very excited to keep things moving forward.”
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