Indiana men’s tennis continues its fall season with a pair of events beginning this weekend. The Hoosiers will send six players to the Spartan Invite in East Lansing, Michigan, and four players to the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Three upperclassmen — fifth-year senior Mac Rogers, junior Nishanth Basavareddy and junior Jagger Saylor — will travel to East Lansing. They’ll be joined by three freshmen — Luc Boulier, Sam Landau and Andrew Meier. The tournament will begin Friday, Sept. 30, and end Sunday, Oct. 2.
“Another (tournament) similar to Duke where they’re just going to get a lot of guaranteed matches,” head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “It’s an opportunity to prove themselves.”
Wurtzman said the Spartan Invite will be a good chance to gage where Indiana’s freshmen stand within the team and to get in more matches before the official season starts in the spring.
"We want to get to know the freshmen, get to know what they’re all about and work on their games,” Wurtzman said. “At the same time, we want to make sure that we’re competing a lot in these tournaments, competing a lot in practice and that we’re really making sure that we’re not just getting complacent in practicing.”
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 1, the Hoosiers will send fifth-year senior Patrick Fletchall, junior Michael Andre, junior Ilya Tiraspolsky and senior Luka Vukovic to the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa.
“They’ve had a lot of experience playing college tennis,” Wurtzman said. “We’re taking them because it’s one of the best tournaments in the country. It’s just a great opportunity to play some of the best.”
The ITA-All American Championship, one of the biggest tournaments of the year, is a single elimination tournament. The Hoosiers will begin Saturday in the pre-qualifiers with 256 players.
The final 16 players in the pre-qualifiers move onto the qualifiers. The qualifiers consist of 112 players who received automatic placement via preseason rankings, and those final 16 from the pre-qualifiers to form a field of 128, where once again the final 16 move on. They then move onto the main draw which consists of 64 players, 48 of whom received automatic placement via preseason rankings and those 16 who moved on from the qualifiers.
For the Hoosiers, it’s not about the wins this fall, Wurtzman said.
“We haven’t put as much emphasis on the results — we really want to define our culture,” Wurtzman said. “That’s really the priority of the fall — coming together as a team and getting the right mindset going into the spring season.”
After these tournaments, the Hoosiers are next in action at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. That event will begin Oct. 13 and go through Oct. 17.