For the first time this season, IU cracked the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and sits at No. 49.
IU’s debut in the top 50 follows a 4-1 win at rival Purdue on Saturday. The match was the first Big Ten meeting of the season and the first road win for IU.
This week the Hoosiers return to Bloomington, where they are undefeated this year. But they will face two opponents they lost to the past two seasons — Drake University on Friday and Dartmouth College on Saturday.
“We want make sure it doesn't happen again,” senior Zac Brodney said.
IU is 6-3 but has struggled against top opponents. IU’s three losses this season come from the three ranked opponents it has faced — No. 4 University of Texas at Austin, No. 31 Middle Tennessee State University and No. 39 Vanderbilt University. The Hoosiers are a combined 4-12 in those matches.
IU will have the opportunity to change that narrative Saturday when No. 25 Dartmouth comes to Bloomington.
The two teams have split the six previous meetings. Dartmouth was victorious the past two seasons, 4-0 last year and 4-3 in 2018.
Dartmouth is 9-2 this season and dropped its last two matches, a pair of 4-1 losses to Cornell University and Princeton University on Feb. 15 and 16.
The only chance for ranked opponents to meet will be in doubles action between the schools’ top pairs. IU’s Brodney and senior Bennett Crane are No. 42 in the country, while Dartmouth seniors Charlie Broom and David Horneffer are No. 41.
Brodney and Crane are 6-2 in dual match play for the Hoosiers and have won their last four. Broom and Horneffer are 6-0 in dual matches this season.
First, IU faces a struggling Drake squad Friday.
Drake is 2-12 and lost its last two matches after snapping a 10-match losing streak. Despite Drake’s poor record, IU head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said he knows the match can’t be taken lightly.
“We know that team is very strong, especially indoors,” Wurtzman said. “They beat us the last two years, so that's a team that is very dangerous inside.”
In the four previous meetings, IU has not defeated Drake. The Hoosiers most recently lost 4-1 in 2019 and 4-3 in 2018.
The only shared opponent between the two teams is Middle Tennessee. Drake had a pair of 4-0 losses on Jan. 25 and Feb. 16. IU lost 4-2 on Feb. 7.
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