The IU men’s tennis team couldn’t replicate its regular season results against No. 37-ranked Minnesota this afternoon as the Hoosiers were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament following their 4-1 loss to the Gophers.
The No. 5-seeded, and No. 43-ranked Hoosiers swept Michigan State in the first round of the tournament but couldn’t find the same success against No. 4 seed Minnesota a day later. This marks the second year in a row that Minnesota knocks IU out of the Big Ten Tournament.
In their regular season matchup, the Hoosiers benefitted from strong doubles play and the tiebreaking heroics of freshman Andrew Redding. In the tournament, IU wasn’t able to count on any of that.
IU lost the doubles point two sets to none, with the No. 1 doubles matchup ending 6-0. In singles, Redding was the first Hoosier off the court, dropping just his second match of the season with a 6-4, 6-2 score.
Senior Keivon Tabrizi was next, losing to No. 81 Stefan Milicevic in straight sets to put Minnesota just one win away from clinching the match.
The Hoosiers did start to push back late into the match. No. 120-ranked junior Antonio Cembellin put IU on the board with a straight-sets victory over No. 89 Martin Spec, breaking his nine-match winning streak.
Sophomore Zac Brodney, down a break with the team just a few games away from elimination, then came back to force his match into a third set. Brodney joined No. 111-ranked senior Raheel Manji and sophomore Bennett Crane in must-win third sets for the Hoosiers.
Minnesota was able to hold off the comeback though, as No. 79 Felix Corwin ended up clinching the Gopher victory with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Manji.
Minnesota will advance to the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament, where they will face No. 1-seeded and No. 3-ranked Ohio State.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers will have to wait until May 5 to learn their fate in the NCAA Tournament.