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IU defeats Nebraska, Iowa to complete undefeated weekend

IU finished the weekend with two victories after defeating Nebraska 4-2 on Friday night and No. 67 Iowa 4-0 on Sunday.

The two victories were IU’s only second and third road victories, with its first being a 6-1 win against Michigan State earlier this month.

“In the beginning of the season, our goal was to get better as a team,” sophomore Raheel Manji said. “Throughout those losses, we did look at how we can get better, and now it’s coming through and props to all of our teammates for staying resilient.”

The Hoosiers did not start their match against the Cornhuskers as they would have liked, dropping the doubles point to start Friday’s match behind 1-0.

Senior Chris Essick and junior Stefan Lugonjic’s 6-4 victory in No. 2 doubles against Marc Hermann and Scott Elsass was erased after IU losses in the other two doubles matches.

Seniors Daniel Bednarczyk and Sam Monette lost 6-4 before Manji and freshman Afonso Salgado’s 7-5 loss in No. 1 and 3 doubles, respectively.

However, the Hoosiers rebounded when Manji and junior Matthew McCoy put them back in 
the lead.

Both players won their matches in straight sets, with Manji beating Hermann 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and McCoy beating Toby Boyer 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.

Freshman Antonio Cembellin, who dropped his first set 6-3 against Bradford Zitsch, came back to win his second and third sets 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to give the Hoosiers a 3-1 lead.

Dusty Boyer then defeated Monette 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to pull the Cornhuskers back 3-2, but Bednarczyk ensured the Hoosiers got the victory when he beat Andrew Dzulynsky 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 at No. 3 singles.

“Nebraska was a tough match. They had their band there and their fans there,” IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “I think we did a good job after dropping the doubles points, and it’s a good victory against a very gritty Nebraska team.”

Sunday was a little different as the match was played outdoors and the Hoosiers started the match by winning the doubles point.

Monette and Bednarczyk beat Lefteris Theodorou and Jake Jacoby 6-3 at No. 1 doubles, and Essick and Lugonjic beat Josh Silverstein and Dominic Patrick 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.

Monette doubled the Hoosiers’ lead when he beat Theodorou 6-3, 6-2 at No.1 singles.

Manji further extended the lead when he beat Silverstein 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, while Cembellin earned the clinching point when he beat Dominic Patrick 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.

“We expected a battle. We expect battles out of every Big Ten team,” Manji said. “All three of us did a great job of getting quick starts, and everyone was ready to step up today if need be.”

The Hoosiers are now on a four-game winning streak.

Their last steak of that length was from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 when they defeated VCU, Marquette, Ball State and Washington in 

“We’re back on track,” Manji said. “I think we all know that it was coming eventually and that’s the goal, every single day regardless of home and away, everyone shows up and gives their best effort.”

IU will now play its two remaining conference games against Wisconsin and Minnesota next weekend in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers have only dropped two matches this season.

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