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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana men’s tennis falls in second round of Big Ten Tournament, season comes to a close

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Indiana men’s tennis went into its second-round matchup in the Big Ten Tournament with Ohio State knowing it was going to be a challenge. The Buckeyes are the No. 3 team in the country and earned the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament after an undefeated regular season. 

“This could be a year where Ohio State challenges for a national title,” head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said Friday after the Hoosiers’ match against the Buckeyes. “One through three in doubles, one through six in singles, they’re elite. I think it was a great experience for us to get out there and compete.” 

Friday, the Hoosiers saw just how elite the Buckeyes are. After losing 7-0 on April 23 to Ohio State to close out the regular season, Indiana met a similar fate with a 4-0 loss.  

Ohio State won at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles — 6-1 and 6-0, respectively — to swiftly take the doubles point. The Buckeyes continued that dominance in singles play with straight-set wins at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 singles, sealing the 4-0 win. 

With the loss, the Hoosiers’ 2023 campaign ends. A team that won just six games a year ago finished 13-15 this season. One reason why is the contributions the Hoosiers got from freshmen, Wurtzman said. 

“We had some freshmen that came in and really made a big difference,” Wurtzman said. “Sam (Landau) had a great year, Ekansh (Kumar) was great all year long and Luc (Boulier) has played very well in singles as of late.” 

It was also a match that marked the end of the line for the Hoosiers’ three seniors. Fifth-year seniors Patrick Fletchall and Mac Rogers as well as senior Luka Vukovic all played the final matches of their college careers Friday. 

“Those guys have been through a lot with COVID and injuries, but they persevered,” Wurtzman said. “Mac never quit, Pat’s passion was remarkable, and Luka worked as hard as anyone I’ve seen.” 

The Hoosiers will take some time in the offseason to regroup. With the departure of three upperclassmen, rising seniors Jagger Saylor and Ilya Tiraspolsky will have to step up into bigger roles. Wurtzman said Indiana is trending in the right direction, and for the Hoosiers, it’s all about continuing that momentum. 

“The daily grind, the way we do everything needs to get better so we can compete at the highest level,” Wurtzman said. “We want to be playing on Saturday and Sunday (Big Ten Tournament semi-finals and championship) in the years to come.” 

Indiana opens its fall season in mid-September.  

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