For the second straight year, the IU men’s tennis team will likely end its season in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
IU lost to Michigan 4-1 Friday morning in the second round of the Big Ten tournament after taking down Michigan State 4-0 Thursday.
The win Thursday afternoon was the second time this season the Hoosiers have swept the Spartans. IU took Michigan State down 7-0 in the regular season.
“It was great to win in the first round, especially in the fashion that we did,” IU Head Coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “We knew you couldn’t take them lightly or overlook them.”
Despite its three upset wins over ranked teams this season, it looks like IU will come up short of an NCAA Tournament berth for the sixth consecutive year.
Slam Tennis Bracketology currently projects IU to be the eighth team out of the tournament after its performance Friday in the Big Ten tournament.
Wurtzman said he doesn’t believe IU has done enough to make the postseason, which is why they will not have a team watch party for the selection show Monday.
“We don’t have that chance, there’s just too many teams we would have to pass to get that bid,” Wurtzman said. “It’s just a really deep field.”
In the end, the missed tournament bid can be attributed to IU’s lackluster finish down the stretch. The Hoosiers went 1-3 in their last four matches, with their only win coming against 6-21 Michigan State.
On the off chance IU gets a bid into the NCAA Tournament, it would be its first appearance since 2013.
It’s looking like the Hoosiers will end this season short of its goal, knowing they were so close to making history. Wurtzman and staff said they have already started thinking about next season, which could be one of the better men's teams in recent history.
The Hoosiers only lose one senior, Antonio Cembellin, who was their ace all season. Cembellin had a 23-11 singles record this season.
With Cembellin leaving, IU will have four seniors and two juniors next year. This will bring experience IU hasn’t had in years.
This season was filled with highs and lows. The NCAA Tournament was within reach for the first time in six years, but IU couldn’t close it out and hobbled down the stretch.