No. 46 IU will wrap up its regular season with two more ranked Big Ten opponents this weekend.
IU will face off against Ohio State and Penn State.
The Hoosiers will put their season-high win streak on the line when they take on two tough opponents in their first outdoor home matches of the year.
Coming off their fourth consecutive win, IU will take on No. 3 Ohio State on Friday afternoon before closing out the season with a matchup against No. 49 Penn State.
“We’re excited to get out there and play these teams, especially with the way that we’ve been doing these past few weeks,” IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said.
The Hoosiers took down their first two ranked opponents earlier this month, propelling the team into the top 50. Now, IU will face its highest-ranked opponent all year.
“We’re coming together at the right time, and I think that if we keep this up, we’re very dangerous,” sophomore Zac Brodney said. “If we go out there and play our game, we can, to be honest, beat anyone.”
Brodney has been one of the factors behind IU’s recent success. He hasn’t lost in his past four singles matches. Other contributors include freshman Andrew Redding, who boasts an 8-1 record on the season, and senior Raheel Manji, ranked No. 121 in the nation.
The Buckeyes have their fair share of ranked players, though, with five of them ranked in the top 125. Four of those players slot in the top 100, with one ranked in the top five.
IU’s singles players have an overall record of 3-10 against ranked opponents this year with Manji accounting for two of those wins alone. Brodney will likely face his first ranked opponent of the year, but he said he doesn’t feel any pressure.
“We’re going to try to get that win and pull off the upset because they’re the ones coming into our building with all the pressure,” Brodney said.
After the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers will take on Penn State on Sunday as IU will face a team that hasn’t fared well away from home. The Nittany Lions are just 1-7 on the road this year, but Wurtzman said that doesn’t mean the Hoosiers plan to take them lightly.
“We’re familiar with their team and their competitiveness,” Wurtzman said. “That’s going to be a difficult match for us.”
With the Big Ten tournament right around the corner, a win in either match could be influential for the Hoosiers down the line.
“We’re definitely going to be pumped up,” Brodney said. “Us coming together these last couple weekends have really given us a chance to push for NCAAs.”
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