Tennis defends home court

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A sweep was completed by the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s tennis teams on Sunday, March 2, as the men won 6-3 and the women as well, 8-1. The victories helped improve the men’s record to 6-1 and the women’s record to 3-3.

On the day before the sweep, the women’s team did not find the same success, falling to the Division I Eastern Illinois University Panthers 7-2. Despite the loss, junior Brooke Boyts had a statistically dominant performance, claiming both points for the Greyhounds in the No. 3 doubles alongside senior Kasey Land, 8-4, and in the No. 5 singles, 6-2.

Both the men’s and women’s teams picked up a win against the nationally ranked Rockhurst University Hawks on Sunday, Feb. 16, during their respective matches. While the women’s team boosted its record to 2-2, the men’s team increased its record to 5-1.

Wins from both sides dropped Rockhurst in the national rankings, as the UIndy men’s team gave the Hawks their first loss of the season, and the women’s team gave the Hawks their second loss. According to Head Tennis Coach Malik Tabet, both teams came in with goals in mind to help them achieve these accomplishments.

“On the men’s side, we played much, much better compared to what we did previously at Ohio Dominican,” Tabet said. “We set ourselves some goals to reach during that match. I felt like the kids responded really well to the changes that we wanted to make, and [the] results showed.”

Tabet said the women’s team also played with goals in mind to help with the win over Rockhurst.

“On the women’s side, it [the match against Rockhurst] has been the first match since Butler [University], and I felt like the girls also came in very focused, very determined, wanted to take care of business and play some strong tennis, and kind of send a message to the region,” Tabet said.

The doubles team of Boyts and Land added to the win with a 9-8(6) victory in No. 3 doubles, improving their record to 3-1. Land said she believes that the match against Rockhurst went well, even though they were a tough opponent.

“Last year, we had more difficulties with them. This year, we were more ready for them because we had been training even harder than before,” Land said. “Just basically being ready for them and coming out and playing our game from the start was what helped us out, because they are a tough team to beat.”

For the men, sophomore Luke Hubert and freshman Fernando Taricano took a victory in No. 3 doubles by a score of 8-6. Hubert said he also recognizes Rockhurst as a big win for the team.

“It was a big win just because we lost to them in the third or fourth match in conference last year, and they were a nationally ranked team,” Hubert said. “So the fact that we’re able to win pretty decisively … really shows how strong a team we are and gives us confidence moving on.”

For the rest of the season, the teams will focus on specific goals that allow them to come to what Tabet calls a natural peak by the end of the season.

“We always set ourselves up some goals to achieve, and the goal is to be able to put all of these goals together and make sure that they become natural toward the end of the season,” Tabet said.

Both Land and Hubert said they are working towards staying mentally tough during their matches and playing through until the end. Land said she is working towards the end of the season and is confident in how it will play out.

“I’d say my personal goal is to just go into every single match and fight as hard as I can. And that goes for practice, too. You’ve got to work as hard as you can in practice, and that’s going to pay off in the matches,” Land said. “Regardless of the win or loss, just the fact that you know you’re going into every match giving it all you’ve got and giving your team the best chance to add a point to the score is pretty much my ultimate goal.”

Both teams will return to action in Livingston, Ala., Friday, March 14, to play against the University of West Alabama Tigers. Competition for both the men and women is set to begin at 2 p.m.

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