Indiana Daily Student

‘Sam’s a special kid’: freshman Sam Landau leads Indiana men’s tennis to double-header sweep

<p>Freshman Luka Vukovic runs toward the back of the court in a match against Dartmouth College Feb. 29 at IU Tennis Center. IU defeated Dartmouth and Xavier on Sunday to improve to 6-1.</p>

Freshman Luka Vukovic runs toward the back of the court in a match against Dartmouth College Feb. 29 at IU Tennis Center. IU defeated Dartmouth and Xavier on Sunday to improve to 6-1.

Indiana men’s tennis took down Dartmouth College 5-2 and Xavier University 4-0 in what was the second straight weekend with a Sunday double-header for the Hoosiers. 

As has become a theme this season, Indiana got out to a strong start by taking the doubles point. The Hoosiers have won the doubles point in all seven matches they’ve played to start the season. 

“It’s a point that we’ll keep taking,” head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said after the match. “But we don’t want to get too confident.” 

The freshmen tandem of Sam Landau and Luc Boulier won 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to start off the day. The duo of senior Luka Vukovic and freshman Ekansh Kumar followed that up with a narrow 7-6 win at No. 3 doubles, 8-6 in the tiebreaker. 

“We felt like they could complement each other well,” Wurtzman said of Vukovic and Kumar. “It’s great to see them have success early in the season.” 

Coming into the match 5-0, Dartmouth couldn’t find an answer to the Hoosiers in singles either. 

It was fifth-year senior Patrick Fletchall, Vukovic and Kumar who picked up three consecutive singles points to secure the win for Indiana. 

Despite the win already being wrapped up, with the Hoosiers up 4-0, play continued.  

Juniors Ilya Tiraspolsky and Jagger Saylor were defeated at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively. Landau won at No. 3 singles 7-5, 6-2 to close out the 5-2 win for Indiana. 

Later in the day, the Hoosiers welcomed Xavier University into the IU Tennis Center. 

The doubles point was not as easy to come by in the second match of the day for the Hoosiers. Xavier junior Pascal Mosberger and senior Campbell Nakayama quickly dispatched Landau and Boulier at No. 2 doubles, 6-0. Kumar and Vukovic were able to come away with a 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles for Indiana. 

“He’s an easy guy to play with,” Vukovic said of Kumar. “We’re just having a lot of fun out there and it makes it easy.” 

With both teams having won a doubles match, all eyes turned to the battle at No. 1 doubles. 

A forehand winner from Saylor gave Indiana the win at No. 1 doubles, 6-3. More importantly, it gave them the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead. 

“We shouldn’t get too confident,” Wurtzman said. “That doubles point was almost as tight as can be.” 

The Hoosiers used that momentum from doubles and took it into singles where they again won three consecutive singles points to claim the victory over Xavier. 

Landau improved to 4-0 on the season in singles play with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles over Mosberger to give Indiana a quick 2-0 lead. 

“Sam’s a special kid, he’s been an amazing player for us early in the season,” Wurtzman said. “For him to come in his freshman year and have the success that he’s had, it’s very special.” 

Fletchall grinded out a win at No. 1 singles, 7-6, 12-10 in the tiebreaker, 6-3 and Saylor won at No. 4 singles to cap off the double-header sweep for the Hoosiers. 

Despite the two wins, Indiana showed some signs of fatigue in its second match of the day against Xavier. 

“I think we have to toughen up a little bit, that’s what I told the guys,” Wurtzman said. “It’s not always going to be perfect out there, but we have to be tougher in those moments.” 

With the two victories on Sunday, Indiana men’s tennis improved to 6-1 and matched their win total from a year ago. 

The Hoosiers have another weekend double-header next Sunday as Southern Indiana visits for a pair of matches. 

Follow reporter Zach Browning (@ZachBrowning17) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s tennis season.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 Indiana Daily Student