Just five days after the taking both matches in its season-opening double header, the Indiana men’s tennis team traveled to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where it experienced its first loss of the year against a highly touted Middle Tennessee State (MTSU) team, 4-1, on Friday night.
“We weren’t playing our best tennis and focusing as much as we could at the beginning of the matches,” Indiana head coach Jerry Wurtzman said. “We fell a little bit short, but we put it out there and competed hard.”
IU got off to a hot start after the No. 1 doubles pair grad student Patrick Fletchall and junior Ilya Tiraspolsky won in thrilling fashion beating O. Brostrom Poulsen and Francisco Rocha via tie breaker games.
“We definitely played a lot better than we did last weekend together,” Fletchall said. “Moving forward we gotta just keep putting returns in play, keep the energy up, and keep the momentum going that we got from this match.”
In all three of their matches the Hoosiers have taken the early advantage by winning the doubles point.
“The last couple years we’ve had success in doubles,” Wurtzman said. “That’s a point we’ve really depended on and hoped to get, so it’s nice that it’s happening.”
Fletchall then continued his good play, taking the first set in his singles match versus Stijn Slump but, much like the rest of the IU team, his momentum wavered as he dropped the next two sets which would be the final nail in the coffin giving MTSU the 4-1 victory.
“In the third [set] my first serve percentage went down so I gotta make a few more first serves,” Fletchall said, “I gotta take it to him and not let him attack right away.”
Adams Tennis Complex has proved to be a very tough place to play with its rowdy home crowd that has propelled the Blue Raiders to being undefeated at home in the last three years.
“They have a tremendously well-known home record,” Fletchall said. “It helps them a little bit, they got the home court advantage with the fans behind them.”
The team will return home for another double header in Bloomington on Jan. 29 when the Hoosiers match up against Butler and Ball State.