After going 3-0 in its matches last weekend, IU struggled in its final two matches of the season this weekend, going 0-2.
The two matches this weekend were against two of the best teams in the conference, No. 34 Penn State and No. 1 Ohio State.
The first loss came Friday at Penn State, where IU lost 4-1 after falling into a 3-0 hole to start the match.
The Hoosiers lone point came from junior Zac Brodney, who won his 11th match of the season. Brodney is also 6-1 against Big Ten opponents this season.
IU had a day off to travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a Sunday afternoon match against the No. 1 team in the country.
The Buckeyes showed why they are ranked so highly, dominating the Hoosiers en route to a 7-0 sweep. Only one match went to a third set, with all the others won by the Buckeyes in straight sets.
The losses certainly hurt IU's NCAA tournament résumé. IU must await its fate at the hands of the selection committee after the upcoming Big Ten tournament.
Slam Tennis Bracketology currently has IU as one of the “next four out” of the NCAA tournament.
Junior William Piekarsky said the team closely watches all of the NCAA tournament projections.
“We’re all over that,” Piekarsky said. “We focused a little too much on it this week.”
Piekarsky felt like the team's performance suffered this weekend because it worried too much about the NCAA tournament and its overall résumé instead of preparing for the matches at hand.
IU hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since the 2012-13 season.
IU will have one last opportunity to impress the selection committeenext weekend in the Big Ten tournament.
Currently IU is slated to face either Michigan State, which it beat earlier at home, or Michigan, which it lost to at home.
“A win probably puts us back in the tournament,” Piekarsky said. “It’s all riding on that.”
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