IU men’s tennis started the season strong with a dominant 7-0 victory over Ball State University, dropping only one set to the Cardinals in Sunday's season opener.
For a sport that is typically seen as an individual game, IU head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said the team building from the Hoosiers was the highlight of the match.
“We stayed together and connected throughout the match, which is something that we really worked on, making this a real team atmosphere and create a really electric-type atmosphere,” Wurtzman said. “We're not just only focusing on our individual matches but really focusing on how everyone's doing on each court and as a team.”
The Hoosiers claimed the momentum early on, taking the doubles point with 6-1 and 6-3 victories.
“Winning the first doubles point is very important because that gives us momentum into the singles matches,” IU sophomore Carson Haskins said. “And I try to keep that same energy from the doubles match into the singles match.”
Haskins along with his partner, senior William Pierkarsky, took their doubles match 6-1 after starting off 5-0.
With a full crowd to start the morning, the atmosphere inside the IU Tennis Center had a big game feel.
“It's good that we got the quick doubles wins today,” IU sophomore Patrick Fletchall said.
The doubles wins were so quick that Fletchall’s match didn’t finish, ending at 4-4 after the other two matches were decided.
Despite not finishing that match, Fletchall’s 6-3, 6-2 singles match result was the fourth and deciding point for the Hoosiers.
“I really wanted to get a win today, a solid win, so I think it was on my mind,” Fletchall said. “But ultimately, as long as the team wins, that’s what's most important.”
Along with Haskins and Fletchall, the Hoosiers had individual victories from Zac Brodney, Vikash Singh, Andrew Redding and Piekarsky.
Even in the dominant victory, Wurtzman said that just getting out on the court will be an improvement for the Hoosiers moving forward.
“We just needed to get back to competing again,” Wurtzman said. “We've had a long break since our last tournament, and some of our guys weren’t able to play a full fall season, so they didn't get as many matches.”
The Hoosiers will get to compete again Friday against the University of Memphis, a team that Wurtzman said IU knows.
“We see them in the fall at the regionals, and they have a very strong team,” Wurtzman said. “Over the last five or eight years they've had very good players. So we know coming in it's going to be a very competitive match right off the bat.”
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