After breaking its four-match losing streak last weekend against rival Purdue, IU men’s tennis is getting set for home matches this weekend against No. 41 Northwestern and University of Washington.
Northwestern will play at IU 6 p.m. Friday to open up the second week of Big Ten conference play, but IU will still play a mix of nonconference opponents such as Washington and Texas Tech University before its schedule shifts solely to Big Ten play.
Northwestern has moved into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings for just the second time this season, moving up from its No. 43 rank last week.
The Wildcats have dominated the series history in the past decade. IU hasn’t beaten Northwestern since April 22, 2012, more than six years ago.
“We have not beat them since I’ve been here,” IU Head Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “We’ve come very close every year but we have yet to win that match.”
Wurtzman said the entire team is anxious to get another crack at them on its home court because it’s been a while since it has tasted victory over the Wildcats.
Northwestern battled back from a 0-4 start to the season and it currently sits at 8-6 with recent wins over Harvard University, Ball State University and Purdue.
After Northwestern takes on IU in Bloomington, it will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, for a date with the No. 37 University of Louisville.
On the other hand, Washington hasn’t had a great start to the season as it currently sits at 3-5. Those three wins have also come against inferior competition, such as University of Portland, Liberty University and San Diego State University.
That being said, Washington has had an extremely tough schedule with two top-15 teams, No. 3 University Texas and No. 14 Michigan.
“They’ve graduated a lot of players, and it’s a completely new team,” Wurtzman said. “It’s gonna come down to digging deep and playing for every point.”
One of the intricacies coming from the west is always the time change, especially coming all the way from Seattle.
Washington, however, should already be used to the time change because it will be making its way to Bloomington after its match at Minnesota on Friday.
IU looks to bolster its tournament résumé come April with two impressive wins, including a win over a ranked Northwestern team.