UIndy tennis teams look to end season on strong note
After this weekends wins, the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s tennis team received their seeding for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament. The men will enter the tournament as the number one seed in the East and women will enter as the East’s second seed.
Prior to learning of the championship seeding’s, senior Luke Hubert said that it was important that the teams locked up high seeding’s.
“The biggest thing is getting momentum going into the postseason. We just need to build up our confidence even more these last two games,” Hubert said.
The men’s and women’s teams both beat the University of Southern Indiana on Senior Day. Before the matchups, the teams honored seniors Macey Speer, Allie Smith and Hubert.
Prior to Senior Day, Smith said that she hoped she could finish well this season since it is her last year.
“I try not to think about being done with tennis and school soon. Hopefully, I can come out and play well and help get us a big win before the conference tournament,” Smith said.
Hubert said that he hopes the team has many more matches after Senior Day.
“It’s going to be very bittersweet. It will be special to have all of our parents there who have helped us through so much. I’m more focused on the postseason than Senior Day, though,” Hubert said.
The women came away with a 9-0 sweep over Southern Indiana on Senior Day. All of the singles match’s for the women were won in two sets. In doubles matchups, sophomore Florence Renard and freshman Hanna Volikova defeated their opponents 8-2. Senior duo Smith and Speer outscored their opponents 8-1, along with junior Selenay Heper and sophomore Paige Olsen winning their match 8-1 as well.
For the men, Southern Indiana put up a fight and the men won 5-4. In doubles play junior Arklon Huertas del Pino paired up with sophomore Andrea Morlet to beat their USI opponents 8-6. Sophomore Christoph Drechsler and freshman Magnus Mueller followed suit with an 8-6 of their won. Number three doubles was won by USI. Huertas del Pino, Drechsler and Mueller won their singles matches to give UIndy a 5-4 win.
The day before on Friday, April 22, both teams swept Saint Joseph’s 9-0. Sophomore Dana Olsen’s match in singles competition was the only won to go to two sets. Dana won both sets 6-0. All of the men’s singles matches were done in two sets except for Huertas del Pino who won his match 6-0, 3-6, 10-6.
Head Tennis Coach Malik Tabet said his teams have a chance to make big strides in the postseason based on what he has seen so far.
“The enthusiasm is key. The kids are very fresh right now,” Tabet said. “The fact [that] they have been in postseason situations before is reassuring.”
The men’s team swept Bellarmine 9-0. The Hounds increased their regular season winning streak against GLVC teams to 16 in a row, going all the way back to the 2013 season.
Huertas del Pino and Morlet paired up for doubles and beat their opponents 8-6, while Drechsler and Mueller earned an 8-5 win over the Knights.
In singles play, Hubert and Huertas del Pino improved their single records to 22-3 each. Both Hubert and Huertas del Pino could break or tie the program record of 28 wins in a season, which was set by Ross Johnson in 2004-2005.
The women’s team won 8-1 against Bellarmine and swept all of the doubles matches. Smith and Speer won a tight set of 9-8 over their opponents. Volikova and Renard won their doubles set 8-3.
Tabet is trying to lead both teams deep into the national tournament. He said he likes his teams’ chances of making it to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history.
“It’s very simple; we have got to play our tennis,” Tabet said. “If we do that, both teams have a ton of potential to make a run.”
The teams next contest will be the GLVC Championship Tournament which will take place from April 29-May 1. The tournament will be hosted by Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill