Tag Archives: Northwestern Wildcats

Hoosiers look to change fortune in Evanston

The Hoosiers will travel to Evanston, Ill., Saturday with hopes of earning a payback victory against a Northwestern team that forced the first domino to fall for IU in its string of recent struggles.

Four days after the Hoosiers knocked off No. 3 Wisconsin at home, the lowly 8-10 Wildcats took all of the wind out of IU’s sails with a 54-47 victory at Assembly Hall.

Since defeating the Badgers, IU has lost six of its last eight games, fallen off the NCAA Tournament radar, had a player arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and had its home temporarily jeopardized by a piece of metal plating.

Starting at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, the Hoosiers have an opportunity to make amends and climb up the Big Ten standings.

Northwestern, which is on a four-game losing streak, is ninth in the conference, one place ahead of IU.

The Jan. 18 meeting between the teams was a defensive struggle, with 101 total points scored on a combined 34-of-111 shooting performance. IU shot 4-of-18 from 3-point range.

“No question, when you don’t have as many outside shooters, the defense dictates so much of how the offense is going to look,” IU Coach Tom Crean said on Monday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference.

The Wildcats came into Assembly Hall and controlled the pace of the game, limiting IU to only four fast-break points.

Northwestern, the worst team in the Big Ten in rebound margin, held IU to a one-rebound advantage on the boards.

Despite freshman forward Noah Vonleh’s 17-point, 12-rebound performance, Crean said Vonleh isn’t as aggressive as he needs to be with the ball.

“Some of that is the offensive rebounding, some of that is taking advantage of driving opportunities when they’re there, some of that is being ready to shoot, some of that is not looking to pass the ball as soon as he catches it,” Crean said.

The Hoosiers have the opportunity to set the tone in Welsh-Ryan Arena. Through Wednesday, IU is 62nd in the country in adjusted tempo, according to kenpom.com. The Wildcats are the 334th-slowest team in the nation.

Crean said defenses can’t dictate how the Hoosiers move on offense.

“A person in movement has constantly got to be trying to create a look, trying to create an opportunity for someone else,” he said. “That’s why transition is good for us. That’s why transition pick and rolls are good for us because the game’s in movement and the defense isn’t set yet.”

IU will have a clear advantage if it turns Saturday’s matchup into a track meet, because of its depth. Ten Hoosiers played against Northwestern in January.

Northwestern Coach Chris Collins used an eight-man rotation against IU, but only six Wildcats played significant minutes.

Senior guard James Montgomery III played less than a minute and senior forward Nikola Cerina, who played four minutes at Assembly Hall, is suspended for Saturday’s game after throwing a punch against Ohio State Wednesday.

At IU’s press conference Tuesday, after the IU vs. Iowa game was postponed after a metal plating fell from Assembly Hall’s ceiling, Crean said the team was ready to play but the Hoosiers would have to adjust to the schedule change.

“It’s all part of resiliency, you just get ready to go do what you have to do when it’s time to do it,” Crean said.

It has been nearly three weeks since IU’s last win and only six regular season games remain for the Hoosiers. If IU is going to make a run towards an NCAA Tournament berth in the home stretch, the time is now.

Follow reporter Andy Wittry on Twitter @AndyWittry.

Northwestern defeats IU 4-0 in Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals

For the fifth consecutive year, the IU women’s tennis team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The No. 38 Hoosiers, the 6-seed, fell 4-0 to No. 15 Northwestern, the 3-seed, at the IU Varsity Tennis Courts on Friday afternoon.

The matchup was a rematch from last Sunday, when the Wildcats defeated Indiana 6-1 in Evanston, Ill. However, sophomore Carolyn Chupa did not play in the first meeting between the two teams due to a concussion. She was cleared to play in the Big Ten Tournament, which created completely different matchups from Sunday’s conference bout. On Friday, there were four new singles and two new doubles matches.

While the final score was lopsided, the match was competitive at every level. The doubles point was decided late in the No. 3 match and four of the singles matches went to a third set.

The No. 1, No. 3, and No. 5 singles matches were unfinished; senior Leslie Hureau, who is ranked No. 110, led No. 123 Veronica Corning 6-2, 4-3, Belinda Niu had a slight lead against Chupa 7-5, 2-6, 4-3, and the fifth match was tied 5-5 in the third set.

“I thought we had a battle on every court,” IU Coach Lin Loring said.

He said that the four-hour long match would have lasted another 45 minutes if all of the matches finished, which he said showed how evenly matched the two teams were.

“We played well and I think we gave them everything they could handle,” he said.

Chupa and Hureau teamed up for the No. 1 doubles match. They started the match with a 3-1 lead against No. 14 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton and eventually won 8-4.

Sophomores Alecia Kauss and Shannon Murdy fell into a deep hole early as Corning/Alicia Barnett jumped out to a 6-1 lead. The Hoosiers fought back to cut Northwestern’s lead to 7-3 but ultimately lost the No. 2 doubles match 8-3.

The No. 3 match was left to determine which team would win the doubles point. Northwestern’s Niu/Kate Turvy led sophomore Katie Klyczek and junior Sophie Garre 6-4 when the No. 2 match finished. Rallying around the energy of the fans and Garre’s emotional display of energy, IU fought back to win its fifth game.

A “Hoo, Hoo, Hoo, Hoosiers” cheer echoed across the courts as IU fans in both sets of bleachers chanted Indiana’s rallying cry.

“Allez, allez,” Mrs. Hureau murmured as the Hoosiers mounted their comeback, telling them “Go, go” in French.

The match’s twelfth set began with a thunderous volley off of the racket of Garre as she cut across the court to give IU a 15-0 lead.

Sensing the change in momentum of the match, Northwestern’s strategy became to fight a war of attrition. Niu and Klyczek stood their ground, trading returns. Klyczek matched every forehand by Niu with a backhand. The rally continued for nearly one minute before the Wildcats let up and Klyczek won the point on a volley to increase Indiana’s lead to 30-0. With IU leading the game 40-15, Northwestern hit a ball that split the pair of Hoosiers and was out of their reach. However, it landed barely outside of the baseline and Indiana tied the match at six games apiece.

Indiana ran out of gas and Northwestern won four consecutive points to take a 7-6 lead. The Hoosiers struggled to land their returns in bounds and Northwestern won the No. 3 doubles match, thereby taking a 1-0 lead in the quarterfinals.

In the weeks leading up to the Big Ten Tournament, Hureau said that she was excited to play at home in her final Big Ten Tournament. Her parents were flying from France to watch her suit up and play for IU for the final time in Bloomington.

Due to the limited number of outdoors courts at the IU Varsity Tennis Center and four teams playing at once, each match was allowed to use five of the 10 courts. The No. 1 singles match was randomly chosen, which meant that Hureau began singles play watching from the stands with the rest of the spectators.

“The one time my parents come from France….,” she said in frustration.

Luckily for Hureau, second-seeded Nebraska defeated tenth-seeded Minnesota 4-0, which opened up a court for the No. 1 singles match between Indiana and Northwestern.

In the No. 2 singles match, No. 51 Turvy tested her underhand slice serve against No. 103 Klyczek and prevailed 6-3, 6-1 to increase Northwestern’s lead to 2-0.

Loring said that Klyczek’s matchup was a challenge for her due to the contrast in their play styles. He said that Turvy suffered a shoulder injury and can’t serve overhand.

“When you’ve never played against someone who cuts the ball like that it’s tough,” he said. “It’s a tough serve and she’s perfected it.”

Despite the loss in the No. 2 match, Loring said that Klyczek showed a lot of improvement from last Sunday when Turvy defeated her 6-1, 6-0.

“Katie needs a hitter, she wants to play with someone that hits,” he said. “That girl has a great loop and a great slice and it’s the absolute worst matchup for Katie. We knew that was going to be a tough match.”

Mushrefova defeated Kauss in the No. 4 singles match 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 to bring Northwestern one step closer to advancing to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Hamilton ended the match when she came from behind to top senior Jithmie Jayawickrema 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 6 position.

“We put ourselves in the position to win,” Loring said. “There were four three-set matches, the two that were two sets we were going to win one of them and they won one of them. It’s about as close as it can get. I know the girls are really disappointed, especially to lose at home but I thought we represented ourselves really well.”

After suffering a loss to the Wildcats, the Hoosiers fell to 18-9 on the season, which is an improvement from their 16-11 record last year.

Indiana will take the weekend off then resume practice on Monday and Tuesday in hopes that the team is chosen to compete in the NCAA Championships.

“We’ll be able to figure a few things out by Sunday,” Loring said. “We’ll be able to look at the conference tournaments and see how many upsets there were and how many AQs that maybe slipped through the process.”

The NCAA Championships Selection Show will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

Click here to read this post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog. 

Women’s tennis dominates Wisconsin

The No. 38 IU women’s tennis team, the 6-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, bounced back from a pair of losses last weekend by defeating 11-seed Wisconsin 4-0 in the first round Thursday afternoon.

The team will play 3-seed Northwestern, the No. 15 team in the nation, at 2 p.m. Friday.

“It was really good,” IU Coach Lin Loring said. “We hadn’t played on the courts since they had been resurfaced so I’m happy that we got to play outdoors and happy to get the win.”

IU has had Wisconsin’s number recently. The Hoosiers defeated the Badgers 7-0 April 14 at home and knocked them off in the first round of last year’s Big Ten Tournament.

“It was definitely a confidence booster because we kicked their butt,” sophomore Carolyn Chupa said.

Thursday marked the first time Indiana played on the resurfaced IU Varsity Tennis Courts.

Playing outdoors brought gusts of wind that the Hoosiers had not experienced during their months of indoor training at the IU Tennis Center.

“In the beginning it was really windy, especially for me because I was playing a girl who was pretty crafty so she wasn’t missing much at the beginning,” senior Leslie Hureau said. “I had to adjust and make sure that I was patient.”

Despite the variables that came with playing outdoors, playing in Bloomington is an advantage for the Hoosiers.

Chupa said IU has a bigger fan base because the team is hosting the tournament and also said that she benefits from staying at home.

Hureau said it was nice for the team to not have to travel at the end of the season when the women are tired from conference play.

“It’s nice to be home and we have a nice crowd,” she said. “It’s just awesome for me to play one more time in front of everyone, especially with all of the parents coming, it’s great.”

Chupa was back in the lineup after not playing last weekend due to a concussion. She and Hureau were paired for the No. 1 doubles match. The duo jumped out to a 4-0 lead and Wisconsin struggled to return the ball within the court.

IU won the No. 1 match 8-4 and the sophomore tandem of Alecia Kauss and Shannon Murdy defeated Katie Hoch and Anastasia Tripolskaya 8-2 in the No. 2 position to earn the overall doubles point.

Since Penn State and Minnesota played simultaneously with IU and Wisconsin, each match was allotted 5 of the 10 IU Varsity courts for singles play. The tournament officials drew the number two, which meant sophomore Katie Klyczek, who is ranked No. 103 in singles, and Wisconsin’s Lauren Chypyha had to wait until another match finished before they started playing in the No. 2 singles match.

The team had a slow start in singles and the Hoosiers were losing early in three of the five singles matches.

Loring said patience was critical in the first round matchup.

Both Hureau and junior Sophie Garre were losing early in their matches before winning four consecutive games to win their first sets of the No. 1 and No. 5 singles matches, respectively.

Later, within the span of seconds, Chupa won the No. 3 singles match 6-2, 6-2 against Tripolskaya and Hureau defeated Berner 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 match to give IU a 3-0 lead.

Kauss worked efficiently and defeated Lauren Burich 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 4 spot to earn IU’s fourth and final point of the match.

With the victory, IU will face Northwestern with the chance to move on to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Saturday.

The Hoosiers lost 6-1 to the Wildcats in Evanston, Ill. last Sunday.

“Carolyn is back in the lineup so we’re going to have different matchups,” Hureau said. “It’s never good to play someone who just beat you three days ago so that’s going to be good for us.”

Loring said for IU to defeat Northwestern, the women will have to play better than they did against Wisconsin, especially in doubles.

“I can definitely say that we’re kind of gunning for them since we lost,” Chupa said. “We have the home court advantage now and since I’m playing I know the lineup changes so it will be a different match.”

Click here to read this article on the Indiana Daily Student website.

Big Ten Tournament back in Bloomington after 11 years

For the first time since 2002, IU will play host to the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament in Bloomington this weekend.

The No. 38 Hoosiers (17-8, 6-5), who finished as the 6-seed, will face 11-seed Wisconsin at 2 p.m. today in their opening-round match.

The top four teams in the conference — No. 6 Michigan, No. 16 Nebraska, No. 15 Northwestern and No. 28 Purdue — will receive first round byes and play the winners of today’s opening round matches.

Matches will begin every day at 10 a.m., except for Sunday, when the championship match will be played at 2 p.m.

Weather permitting, all matches will take place at the outdoor IU Varsity Tennis Courts, and in the case of inclement weather, matches will be played indoors at the IU Tennis Center.

On Tuesday evening, IU Coach Lin Loring said on a radio show that for matches to be played outdoors, the temperature must be at least 50 degrees and the wind cannot exceed 20 miles per hour.

It will be mostly sunny on Thursday with a high temperature of 58 degrees and 16 mile-per-hour winds, according to weather.com. It is projected to be cloudy with temperatures in the 60s and a low chance of rain for the rest of the weekend.

“We’ve actually played really well outdoors, but unfortunately with the way the spring has been, we haven’t had too many opportunities to play outdoors,” Loring said. “We’re confident that whatever way the weather holds this weekend, we can do well.”

Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin tied with a 3-8 record in the Big Ten.

Loring said the teams were so close that the conference office had difficulty breaking the tie.

Based on the tiebreaking rules, Iowa finished eighth, Ohio State ninth, Minnesota 10th and Wisconsin 11th.

The Hoosiers defeated the Badgers 7-0 on April 14 in Bloomington.

Sophomore Carolyn Chupa returns a ball against Minnesota on Apr. 12 at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers won 6-1.  (MICHAELA SIMONE | IDS)
Sophomore Carolyn Chupa returns a ball against Minnesota on Apr. 12 at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers won 6-1.
(MICHAELA SIMONE | IDS)

“I don’t think there will be any surprises,” Loring said. “We’ll know how to prepare for them, and they’ll know how to prepare for us since we just played.”

IU bested Wisconsin 4-0 in the first round of last year’s Big Ten Tournament before falling to Michigan in the quarterfinals.

The other opening round matchups are 8-seed Iowa vs. 9-seed Ohio State, 5-seed Illinois vs. 12-seed Michigan State and 7-seed Penn State vs. 10-seed Minnesota.

The Big Ten Tournament will feature eight nationally ranked teams, 13 ranked singles players and 11 ranked doubles combinations.

IU has two ranked singles players. Sophomore Katie Klyczek is ranked No. 103 in the nation, and senior Leslie Hureau is No. 110.

Playing in the Big Ten Tournament at home could prove to be a significant advantage for the Hoosiers. IU is 10-3 in Bloomington this season, and earlier in the season Loring said the Hoosiers are “fresher” at home.

He said the women are excited for the tournament and that the advantages of hosting it extend beyond having the home-court advantage.

“They realize what an advantage it is to be here, and finals start Monday,” he said. “A couple years ago were in the airport in Minnesota on Sunday night with finals on Monday.”

Loring said a lot of the players’ parents will be in town for the tournament, including Hureau’s parents, who will travel from France to watch their daughter play in Bloomington for the final time.

Loring said he feels good and that the women are really excited knowing that they’re going to be at full strength.

“I think the girls feel really confident going into that first match, and they know that they have to take care of business before looking ahead to Northwestern,” he said.

Click here to read this article on the Indiana Daily Student website. 

IU Coach Loring previews the postseason

Sophomore Carolyn Chupa did not play in IU’s matches against No. 47 Illinois and No. 16 Northwestern due to a concussion but IU Coach Lin Loring said that No. 38 Indiana will be at full strength for the Big Ten Tournament.

“I think we’re going to be as healthy as we’re going to be,” Loring said. “Nobody missed practice today so we’re ready to go.”

The No. 6 seeded Hoosiers will face the No. 11 seed Wisconsin on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Loring said that IU didn’t specifically prepare for the Badgers during practice this week after defeating them 7-0 on April 14. He said that Thursday’s matchups will be the same as they were two weeks ago.

“We just tried to do some drills to help us overall,” he said. “We tried to keep practices really short because a lot of the girls have finals this week so they could get their study time in and hit enough balls to keep us sharp.”

Loring said that Wisconsin is scary because he said that they have a lot of different levels.

“They can be really good and they can be just very average so we played the average Wisconsin a couple weeks ago so we’ve got to be ready for the really good Wisconsin to show up,” he said.

If Indiana wins on Thursday, the Hoosiers will face No. 15 Northwestern at 2 p.m. on Friday. The Wildcats defeated Indiana 6-1 on April 21 in Evanston, Ill.

“We know they’re really tough,” Loring said. “The good thing is that we’ll have a lot of different matchups. Only three of the matchups will be the same, one doubles and two singles so that will be exciting to get another shot at them outdoors.”

While the Hoosiers are currently focused on the Big Ten Tournament, Loring said that he thinks Indiana is on the “good side of the bubble” for the NCAA Championships. However, he said that the team’s status depends on what teams automatically qualify by winning their conference tournaments.

“You don’t what’s going to happen at the other conference tournaments,” he said. “It’s just like basketball, we have like 34-35 conferences that get AQ’s so if there’s an upset. Maybe 15 or 20 of those conferences have a team high in the rankings so if they get upset and they get to go because of their ranking and this team that’s 100 gets to go then it takes up a slot for somebody.”

Click here to read this post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog.

IU Coach Lin Loring on WGCL 95.9 FM with Joe Smith

On Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., IU Coach Lin Loring was a guest on the Joe Smith Report on WGCL 95.9 FM, live from Yogi’s Grill & Bar in Bloomington.

Loring said that the women are really excited for the Big Ten Tournament, which begins on Thursday in Bloomington. He said that a lot of parents will be in town for the tournament, including senior Leslie Hureau’s parents, who are traveling from France to see their daughter’s final home match(es).

Loring said that hosting the tournament is a huge benefit for the women’s academics.

“They realize what an advantage it is to be here and finals start Monday,” he said. “A couple years ago were in the airport in Minnesota on Sunday night with finals on Monday.”

Loring stressed the importance of academics for the IU women’s tennis team, which can be seen through the team’s 3.63 GPA last fall as well as the team’s dominance in winning the Herbert Cup.

“We started an award after him [former IU President Herbert] and there had never been anything like that before and that really put it out front,” he said. “It has become a tradition on the team and they take a lot of pride winning that each semester.”

He said that the team has had a lot of success athletically in addition to the women’s achievements in the classroom.

“When we’ve had everybody in the lineup, we’re 7-1, including a win against Michigan, so we’ve beaten the No. 1 seed in the conference,” Loring said. “This is probably the first time in 15 years that we’ve beat two top 10 teams. If we have everybody in the lineup, we can beat anybody in the country.”

He said that the goal of the IU women’s tennis team is to be as good as possible and he said that the Hoosiers have accomplished their goal several times this season.

Despite victories against No. 2 Duke and No. 10 Michigan, Loring acknowledged that the season has been a roller coaster ride. He said that injuries and the coaching staff not making the right personnel decisions have been two challenges for the Hoosiers this spring.

“We’ve done what I thought we could do, it took some time to get there,” he said.

Loring said that IU’s singles play has been the team’s strength this season.

“I think except for one team this year, we’ve split the singles or won four or more [singles matches],” he said. “If we win the doubles point, we’re confident that we can win the match.”

When Loring looked ahead to the Big Ten Tournament, he said that in order for matches to be played outdoors, it must be at least 50 degrees and there must be less than 20 mile per hour wind.

“We’ve actually played really well outdoors but unfortunately with the way the spring has been we haven’t had too many opportunities to play outdoors,” he said. “We’re confident that whatever way the weather holds this weekend we can do well.”

Loring said that he can’t think of a more competitive season of Big Ten women’s tennis in his 35 years at the helm of the Hoosiers.

“There was a four-way tie at eighth and the teams are so close that they had trouble breaking the tie at the conference office,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve had 3 teams in the top 15 at the end of the season. There is depth at the top and depth at the bottom.”

Loring said that he feels good and the women are really excited knowing that they’re going to be at full strength.

“I think the girls feel really confident going into that first match and they know that they have to take care of business before looking ahead to Northwestern,” he said.

Click here to read this post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog. 

IU closes out regular season with two losses to ranked foes

Entering the weekend, the No. 34 IU women’s tennis team hoped to improve to one of the top-four teams in the conference, which would give the team a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

However, IU dropped its final two regular season matches to fall to sixth place.

On Friday, No. 47 Illinois edged out IU 4-3 in Bloomington and No. 16 Northwestern defeated IU 6-1 Sunday in Evanston, Ill.

IU was without sophomore Carolyn Chupa, who has been playing in the No. 3 singles position and No. 1 doubles combination.

“Our depth, which has been our strength, really took a hit today,” IU Coach Lin Loring said Friday. “Two doubles teams and four singles players played out of position.”

Despite winning the No. 3 doubles match against the Illini, the Hoosiers lost the doubles point. In the No. 1 match, Illinois’ No. 25 combination of Melissa Kopinski and Rachel White bested IU’s sophomore tandem of Alecia Kauss and Shannon Murdy 8-6.

Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski topped seniors Leslie Hureau and Jithmie Jayawickrema 8-5 in the No. 2 position.

The Fighting Illini took a 2-0 lead when No. 102 Falkin defeated No. 97 sophomore Katie Klyczek 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles match.

IU fought back when No. 119 Hureau bested No. 109 Kopinski 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 1 position.

Illinois responded with a victory in the No. 5 match; Kedzierski topped Jayawickrema 6-1, 6-3.

With Illinois one point from winning the dual match, Kauss defeated Breanne Smutko 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 3 spot to cut IU’s deficit to 3-2.

White won the match for the Fighting Illini when she topped junior Sophie Garre in the No. 4 match 6-3, 6-3.

“I thought we could cover up Carolyn Chupa being out of the lineup in singles and doubles, but we could not,” Loring said. “Illinois played really well today and took advantage of our weaknesses.”

Northwestern started strong against IU by winning the first two doubles matches and earning the doubles point.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead when No. 49 Kate Turvy bested No. 97 Klyczek 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles match and Barnett defeated Murdy 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 6 spot.

No. 119 Hureau put the Hoosiers on the board when she topped No. 122 Corning 6-2, 6-2.

However, that was not enough for IU and Northwestern won the three remaining singles matches.

Brittany Wowchuk secured the win for the Wildcats when she defeated Jayawickrema 7-5, 6-1 in the No. 5 singles position.

As the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, IU will play Thursday against the No. 11 seed.

Click here to read this article on the Indiana Daily Student website. 

IU women’s tennis regular season wrap-up and Big Ten Tournament preview

After losing to No. 47 Illinois and No. 16 Northwestern, the No. 34 IU women’s tennis team finished the regular season 17-8 (6-5). The Hoosiers placed sixth in the Big Ten.

IU Coach Lin Loring said that he thinks Indiana would have defeated Illinois if all of the women had been healthy for Friday’s match. Sophomore Carolyn Chupa did not play due to a concussion. Loring said that senior Leslie Hureau has been playing hurt for the past three weeks and that sophomore Katie Klyczek is dealing with a hamstring injury.

“Even though we’ve played a little bit injured we’ve played well against Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska,” Loring said.  “I think we’ve been playing well and it’s just a matter of if we get everybody in the lineup for the Big Tens, I’m confidant that we can play pretty well.”

He said that Chupa will undergo a concussion test on Monday and the team will not know the results until later in the week.

Loring said that the team is off on Monday, which leaves Tuesday and Wednesday for the Hoosiers to prepare for the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana is hosting the tournament at the IU Tennis Center. First round matches begin on Thursday and the final match will be played on Sunday.

The top four teams in the conference—Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Purdue—will have first round byes.

As the No. 6 seed, Indiana will play the No. 11 seed on Thursday. Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa are all tied at 3-8. IU will face one of those four schools depending on the conference tiebreaker rules.

“I had a couple of phone calls on the bus ride back from the front office,” Loring said. “The rules aren’t totally clear as to how we interpret the tiebreaker rules because it’s never had to have been used for four teams. One way you interpret it we play Wisconsin and another way you interpret it we play Minnesota.”

Loring said that he thinks Indiana will face Minnesota.

“I think that’s the way you interpret the rule but to tell you the truth I may not know, we have a conference call at two tomorrow, and if they haven’t figured it out by then the coaches will have to vote on it on the phone call,” he said. “Either way we’re playing at two o’clock on Thursday, we pretty much know that.”

Loring said that preparing for a Big Ten Tournament match will be different than preparing for a regular season match because the Big Ten head coaches will announce their starting lineups on a conference call on Monday afternoon.

“That’s a little bit of a different scenario during the season because you think you know who you’re playing,” he said. “You trade lineups with the coach and they switched the five and the six or the three and the four so unless someone is injured and they pull them out, we’ll know if somebody is playing a left-hander or if someone has a big serve, we’ll know. I don’t think there will be any surprises, we’ll know how to prepare for them and they’ll know how to prepare for us since we just played.”

Click here to read this blog post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog. 

Hoosiers ready for “toss-up” weekend

After defeating Minnesota and Wisconsin at home last weekend, the No. 34 IU women’s tennis team (17-6, 6-3) is guaranteed to finish the season with a conference record above .500. The Hoosiers have two dual matches remaining.

IU will play No. 47 Illinois at 3 p.m. Friday at home and then the team will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face No. 16 Northwestern at noon Sunday.

IU is 10-2 at home this season, with the team’s only losses being 4-3 losses against teams ranked in the top 40. The majority of the Hoosiers’ losses this season have come on the road.

Sophomore Carolyn Chupa returns a ball against Minnesota on Saturday at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers won 6-1. (Image courtesy of the Indiana Daily Student's Michaela Simone)
Sophomore Carolyn Chupa returns a ball against Minnesota on Saturday at the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers won 6-1. (Image courtesy of the Indiana Daily Student’s Michaela Simone)

By the time the season is finished, IU will have faced the top four teams in the conference on the road this season, in addition to Tennessee and Kentucky, who are currently ranked in the top 50.

The Fighting Illini (12-9, 5-4) are in sole possession of sixth place in the Big Ten. They have won six of their last seven matches, including wins against No. 38 Penn State and No. 62 Ohio State last weekend. Illinois has defeated IU in each of the past four times that the schools have met.

IU Coach Lin Loring said he expects the match to be a toss-up.

“They’re playing much better the last couple weeks so I expect that to be a really good match for us,” he said.

Northwestern (13-8, 7-2) is tied for third in the conference with No. 27 Purdue. The Wildcats have won five of their past six dual matches, including two consecutive against ranked opponents. Northwestern’s résumé is filled with impressive victories.

The Wildcats defeated No. 38 Arkansas, No. 26 Purdue, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 19 Baylor, No. 33 Illinois, No. 38 Penn State, and No. 62 Ohio State this season.

They will put their 8-4 home record on the line against the Hoosiers on Sunday.

Senior Kate Turvy and junior Veronica Corning are ranked No. 49 and No. 122 in singles, respectively.

The Wildcats’ doubles combination of Linda Abu Mushrafova and Nida Hamilton is ranked No. 18 in the country.

IU will have its hands full against Northwestern. Northwestern has finished in the top two places in the conference every year since 1998 and the Wildcats won the Big Ten Tournament every year from 1998-11. During the past decade, Northwestern is 12-0 against IU and the Wildcats outscored the Hoosiers 69-7 during that span.

Loring said Northwestern’s indoor courts have a medium speed so he doesn’t expect them to give IU any trouble. However, if the matches are played outdoors, he said the weather and courts could affect the playing conditions.

“If we’re outdoors, there’s cold wind off the lake so it can get a little cold up there,” Loring said. “They actually have new outdoor courts that we haven’t played on yet.”

The Hoosiers are in sole possession of fifth place in the Big Ten. IU is two wins behind the conference leaders and one win from being tied for third place.

The top four teams earn first round byes in the Big Ten Tournament, which likely means that the Hoosiers will have to win both matches this weekend.

“A bye is always good because it’s tough to play four days in a row if you get to the finals,” Loring said. “Every team is dinged up at this time of the year so a bye is really big and that’s why you normally don’t see teams that don’t get a bye make it to the finals.”

Click here to read this article on the Indiana Daily Student website.

IU Coach Lin Loring previews Illinois, Northwestern, and the postseason

The No. 34 IU women’s tennis team (17-6, 6-3) is in fifth place in the Big Ten and has the potential to earn a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament if the Hoosiers can finish the season as one of the top four teams in the conference. Indiana faces No. 47 Illinois at home on Friday and travels to No. 16 Northwestern on Sunday.

A win against the Wildcats (13-8, 7-2) is critical for IU’s postseason. Northwestern is tied for third place in the conference and the Wildcats are only one win ahead of the Hoosiers.

“Every team is dinged up at this time of the year so a bye is really big and that’s why you normally don’t see teams that don’t get a bye make it to the finals,” Loring said. “It’s the only time of the year when a team would play four matches in four days. Even in the NCAA Tournament there’s a day off in the middle of the tournament so you would in the NCAA Championships play four matches in five days so it’s tough.”

Loring said that if Indiana defeats Northwestern then the Hoosiers will definitely make the NCAA Championships.

“We’ve got a lot of reasons to play well in that match,” he said.

Loring said that IU doesn’t have anything to lose in its match against Northwestern.

“We’re playing on the road against a team ranked way ahead of us so we’ll just go out there and try our best,” he said. “We’ve done it twice before on the road or at a neutral site. We’re not going to be intimidated because we’ve already played Michigan, who beat them (Northwestern) and I believe Duke beat them too.”

“It’s one of those matches where we can just go for it,” Loring said.

He acknowledged that Indiana hasn’t defeated Northwestern in “a while,” and a win against a perennial top 15 team would exemplify how much Indiana has improved since last season.

In 2011-12, the Hoosiers were 4-7 in the Big Ten, finished seventh in the conference, and had freshmen playing in the No. 3 through No. 6 singles positions.

“Everybody has just played a little bit better,” Loring said. “It’s basically the same time minus two of the starters. Kayla (Fujimoto) and Evgeniya (Vertesheva) were both starters last year so it’s pretty amazing when you consider that we don’t have a bunch of new people at the top of the lineup.”

“Basically everybody except for Leslie is playing higher in the lineup than they did last year so it just shows how much we have improved,” he said.

Click here to read this blog post on the Indiana Daily Student’s Hoosier Hype blog.