The Indiana men’s team team opened its regular 2023 season on Sunday when the University of Dayton and the University of Toledo were welcome in Bloomington. The Hoosiers defeated the Flyers and Rockets 4-1 in both games.
The Hoosiers’ first opponent on Sunday morning was the Flyers. Senior Luka Vukovic has teamed up with the newcomer Ekansh Kumar to defeat Junior Ron Hiryur and the senior Max Decurtine in double No. 3. It was followed by the freshman tandem of Sam Landau and Luc Boulier, who combined to defeat second-placed Eric Perkowski and elder Georgi Mavrodiev in No. 2 doubles to secure the colon for Indiana.
“Sam and Luc had a good crash, which is great,” said head coach Jeremy Wurtzman.
Landau and Boulier go into their freshmen season as the only Hoosier duo currently ranked No. 43 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
In the singles match, Kumar, Landau and Junior Ilya Tiraspolsky all won, giving the Hoosiers a 4-1 victory.
The young Hoosiers saw two of their talented freshmen win singles games to help defeat Dayton.
“We had some new guys out there,” Wurtzmann said. “Everyone is a bit nervous and excited to play that first game.”
The second opponent of the day was Toledo and despite clinching a double point en route to a 4-1 victory in the first game of the day, the side were not satisfied.
“We felt like we didn’t play that well in the first match in doubles,” Wurtzman said.
The team responded, winning all three doubles games against Toledo and clinching the double.
The Hoosiers used the momentum of their swing in doubles and easily defeated Toledo in singles.
Tiraspolsky and Kumar picked up their second singles wins of the day – finishing 4th in singles and 6th in singles, respectively – to give the Hoosiers their first two singles points. Vukovic then earned the third and final singles point for the Hoosiers by scoring junior Adam Kovac at No. 2 singles defeated.
“We’re learning how to win again,” Wurtzman said.
Wurtzman said Indiana has not played a match since Nov. 4.
The only Hoosier to struggle for the team on an otherwise solid day was fifth-year Hoosiers senior Patrick Fletchall. Fletchall, who has teamed with Tiraspolsky, won against Toledo in doubles No. 1 but lost his two singles matches on Sunday.
“Patrick, he had his hands full, he just didn’t have a good start,” said Wurtzmand. “Any match he plays up there (at No. 1 Singles) is going to be very competitive.”
However, Wurtzman and the team were not concerned as Indiana showed its strength against Dayton and Toledo earlier in the season.
“We have a lot of guys who can play. It’s been great to see guys moving up through the lineup and playing well,” Wurtzman said. “Our depth will be one of our main strengths this year.”
The Hoosiers are back in action Friday, Jan. 20 as they take on No. 25 Middle Tennessee State University.
“It’s going to be tough,” Wurtzman said. “It will be great for our young group to play in this environment.”
Indiana started the 2023 season 2-0 with wins over Dayton and Toledo.