The No. 48 IU men’s tennis team wrapped up its road schedule on a high note this past weekend, taking down two conference opponents to extend its season-high winning streak.
The Hoosiers left themselves with little room to budge against the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Nebraska Huskers, but ultimately closed out both matches with a score of 4-3.
“Everyone is so close in the Big Ten," IU Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. "We’re all kind of bulked together. It really comes down to a few points.”
With these two wins, IU is now guaranteed to finish the season with a winning record overall and in conference play. Although the team will finish the season with a 5-6 road record, its win in its one neutral match brings IU’s win percentage to .500 on the year away from Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have been on a tear lately, winning five of their last six matches and currently riding a four-match win streak. This past weekend in particular, all seven players to take the court picked up at least one singles or doubles win, with five of them winning in both formats.
“We could play with anybody, especially in our conference,” Wurtzman said. “Getting those wins last weekend gave us even more confidence and we were able to build on that.”
Senior Keivon Tabrizi won both of his singles matches over the weekend, halting his five-match losing streak. He finished off his matches in dominant fashion, taking both his final sets by a score of 6-0.
It was sophomore Zac Brodney who stood out this past weekend. After earning the title of Big Ten Athlete of the Week for his play at home a week ago, Brodney didn’t miss a stride when the Hoosiers hit the road.
With the overall team score knotted up at 3-3 in Iowa City, Brodney clinched the victory for IU in a tiebreaker in a competitive three-set match. Then, just two days later, he took out his Nebraska opponent in straight sets, picking up another crucial point in IU’s tight win.
“My teammates trust me to go out there and get the win no matter what,” Brodney said. “The energy and belief is the biggest difference.”
With two matches left to play, the Hoosiers have now matched their win total from last season and improved their road record by three wins. They’ve also shown improvement in conference play, as they are currently two Big Ten wins above last year’s total with two more matches before the conference tournament.
“We’ve proven we can hang with the best teams in the country,” Brodney said. “I don’t see what’s stopping us from making a big run.”
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IU will take a 12-8 nonconference slate into conference play.
IU has eight more points than last year at this juncture of the meet.
IU is 11-6 overall after its 4-3 win over University of Hawaii on March 14.