For the first time this season, the IU men’s tennis team will play a conference opponent as Purdue makes its way to Bloomington this weekend for a 3 p.m. contest this Saturday at the IU Tennis Center.
The Hoosiers come into this weekend nursing a four-match losing streak, the longest of their season thus far. IU's most recent losses came on the road to Drake University and Utah StateUniversity in Iowa last weekend.
“The road trip didn’t go as well as we wanted it to,” senior Antonio Cembellin said. “We expected to come out of the weekend with two wins, if not one and we got none.”
While the matches didn’t go as planned last weekend, they’re in the past and this IU squad needs to find a way to get back in the winning column. For a team struggling lately, this match against in-state rival Purdue presents a chance to IU to get back on track.
“Just because we lost to two teams doesn’t mean we lost our intrigue, we just need to move on from them,” Cembellin said. “We need to be confident.”
On the other end, Purdue also isn’t playing its best. Purdue suffered back-to-back losses at Northwestern and University of Louisville the past two weeks. The Boilermakers sit at 4-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
While their records and losing streaks are similar, the differences between the Hoosiers and Boilermakers still persist. Perhaps the most intriguing contrast is the roster differences.
The Boilermakers have an extremely veteran team. They’re led by five upperclassmen while the Hoosiers rely on four freshman and six total underclassmen to guide them to the winner’s circle.
For IU, this Purdue matchup will give them a bit of a break, something the team hasn’t experienced in over a month.
The past four weeks have been littered with dual meets every weekend, but this will be the first time since Jan. 20 that IU has only had one match over an entire weekend.
After Purdue come to town, IU has to get back on the dual meet grind with Northwestern and University of Washington coming to town next week.