The Hoosier men’s tennis team finished off its most successful weekend of the season Sunday, as freshman Andrew Redding played hero in both of IU’s upset victories.
The Hoosiers picked up their first two ranked wins of the season, beating No. 31 Minnesota Friday by a score of 4-3 before taking down No. 46 Wisconsin 4-2.
On both days, Redding proved to be a huge help after finishing off his matches in three sets, clinching the overall victories for IU.
“They were so surprised,” Redding said. “But they said now they’re over it. They expect that from me every time now, so I’ve got to keep doing it.”
To start the season, Redding only played singles in three of the team’s first 17 matches. Now, he has established himself in the Hoosier lineup, having won in singles in IU’s past four matches.
Redding wasn’t the only successful player this weekend as the underclassmen all stepped up against IU’s ranked opponents. Five of the six singles wins for the Hoosiers came from the underclassmen of the team.
Sophomore Zac Brodney picked up two wins, while sophomore Bennett Crane also contributed with a straight set victory against Minnesota.
“It was just an amazing weekend from the whole team,” IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “I was just really proud of the guys for how they competed and how they fought through the ups and downs.”
With these two wins, the Hoosiers have now won three of their past four matches, a drastic turnaround following a four-match losing streak. A large part of this team’s recent success can be traced back to IU’s improvement in doubles play. The Hoosiers have now won the doubles point in four consecutive matches, with three of those coming against ranked opponents.
“That’s such a key point when these matches are so close,” Wurtzman said. “The doubles point definitely set the tone both days and we were able to ride that momentum.”
Over the weekend, Brodney and his doubles partner, senior Raheel Manji, won both of their doubles sets, picking up a win against the No. 89-ranked doubles squad in the nation. Crane and senior Keivon Tabrizi won one set against Minnesota, but their set against the No. 2 ranked Wisconsin team was left unfinished in the midst of a tiebreaker.
Having beaten these two ranked teams this past weekend, IU is now back above .500 for the first time in almost a month, and now holds a 4-3 record in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are 7-4 at home this season, and with only two matches remaining in Bloomington, they are guaranteed to finish the year with more home wins than losses.
“When we win a few in a row, that just gives you a little bit more confidence for the next one,” Wurtzman said. “We’ve beat some really good teams, so that’s been nice to see.”
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