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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

Indiana men’s tennis responds to losing skid with shutout win

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Indiana men’s tennis defended its home court and got back in the win column Wednesday against Ball State University. The Hoosiers’ victory followed a difficult road stretch that resulted in two losses, the most recent being Jan. 26 against Dartmouth College. 

The mark in the win column over Ball State puts the Hoosiers up to 3-2, including an undefeated record at home.  

The Hoosiers got off to a 2-0 start in the doubles matches and never looked back, boat racing the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory. The doubles point was earned thanks to a 6-1 win from the No. 1 court duo of seniors Michael Andre and Ilya Tiraspolsky, along with a 6-3 win from freshman Facundo Yunis and sophomore Luc Boulier. Andre discussed his chemistry with Tiraspolsky after the pair notched its first win of the season. 

“It’s good to have someone I have trust in,” Andre said. “We have a lot of experience playing together as well. Last year, we won a Big Ten doubles tournament. He’s a real good player.” 

In the singles matches, Yunis was the only Hoosier to win in two sets, securing Indiana’s second point after 6-2 and 6-1 set wins. Andre continued his success from doubles with a 3-set win, winning 7-5 in the third set, including a 7-6 win in the second set after being down 4-0. 

Andre, who missed all of last year with an injury, is now 3-1 in singles, including a ranked win against the University of Memphis’ No. 80 Pau Fanlo. His three wins are tied for the most on the team. 

“I feel like I’m getting more confident, and I’m starting to get my mojo back,” Andre said. “Coming back and putting it together today shows me that I can get better and play at a high level.” 

Indiana head Coach Jeremy Wurtzman has been impressed with Andre’s recent performances and is counting on him as the season progresses. 

“It was awesome for him to beat a ranked player, and then to come back here, come back down 4-0, and find his way back in that set and win the breaker.” Wurtzman said. “I think that’s gonna help his confidence even more, especially after losing a tough one at Dartmouth. We’re gonna lean on him to win a lot of big matches for us this year.” 

Wurtzman also praised the crowd inside the IU Tennis Center, which included an appearance from President Pamela Whitten and athletic director Scott Dolson.  

“We’re always trying to promote our matches and get people out,” Wurtzman said. “We definitely had the VIP up there today. When you get people like the president to come out, it’s not an everyday thing. It was really cool to have her watching.”  

The atmosphere in the tennis center was lively, from the loud fans upstairs to the benches trying to get in the heads to nearside players. 

Indiana sophomore Sam Landau, who played on the No. 1 court, was particularly prevalent in the two-sided trash talk — but Wurtzman noted it’s just part of the sport. 

“We’re used to it, especially in the Big Ten,” Wurtzman said. “The normal tennis fan doesn’t understand college tennis because you really can’t talk in pro tennis, but here it’s very much back and forth. They’re trying to do a better job of stopping it, but it’s still such a part of the culture.” 

The victory against Ball State is just the tip of the iceberg, as the Hoosiers have a doubleheader Friday against Bellarmine University and Marquette University, along with a Sunday matinee against Boise State University. 

“We got a real tough matchup coming up on Sunday,” Andre said. “Mentally, I think we’re feeling a bit better after getting a nice win today. Physically, obviously this is going to be very taxing for us, so we’re gonna make sure we’re getting the treatment we need, resting up, getting a good night’s sleep, and the whole team’s going out to dinner tonight to make sure we’re getting the right nutrition.” 

The Hoosiers will look to keep their home record unblemished in the upcoming three game homestand, starting at 1 p.m. Friday against Bellarmine.

Follow reporter Matt Rudella (@mattrudellaIDS) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s tennis season.

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