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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana men’s tennis survives Penn State, set to face top-seeded Ohio State Friday

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With the match tied at three, it all came down to a third set at No. 2 singles. The ongoing battle at No. 2 would decide who moved onto the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to play top-seeded Ohio State. 

It was senior Luka Vukovic who would come out on top for Indiana men’s tennis in a three-set thriller against Penn State junior Miko Eala on Thursday. 

“It felt incredible,” Vukovic said after his match-clinching win. “It was great to pull through for the team and get us another day of tennis.” 

Vukovic’s win at No. 2 singles is what clinched the 4-3 win for Indiana over Penn State, but it was freshman Sam Landau who made it possible. Down three games in the third set at No. 3 singles, Landau came back to take the third set and take the match. Landau’s win tied the match at 3-3 and gave Vukovic the boost he needed to close it out. 

“I was looking at the score and saw (Sam) coming back,” Vukovic said. “When he won it was a great boost of energy, it helped me push through some tough moments.” 

The Hoosiers started the match by winning the doubles point. Wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles gave Indiana a 1-0 lead entering singles play.  

Freshman Ekansh Kumar quickly won in straight sets at No. 6 to give the Hoosiers a 2-0 lead. However, Penn State responded with wins at No. 1, No. 4 and No. 5 to take a 3-2 lead. Then, Landau and Vukovic dug deep and pulled out two wins for Indiana, sending the Hoosiers onto the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.  

In the second round, Indiana will play top-seeded Ohio State. The Buckeyes clinched their record-setting 17th consecutive Big Ten regular season title on April 23 after a win over the Hoosiers in the regular season finale. The No. 3 ranked team in the country did not lose a match in Big Ten play during the regular season. 

Vukovic said the team only needs two things to get ready for the match against the Buckeyes. 

“Eat and rest,” Vukovic said. “We’ll enjoy the win for a bit, but we know what is waiting for us tomorrow.” 

The match against Ohio State is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Friday. 

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