NU looks for revenge on the road against Indian

Nina Mandell

With its first conference win under its belt, the No. 44 Northwestern men’s tennis team is feeling confident traveling to Indiana to take on the No. 64 Hoosiers today.

But the players are careful not to get too comfortable.

Last season, Indiana handed the Wildcats two stinging losses, beating them 4-3 in the regular season and then knocking them out of the Big Ten tournament in the first round, 4-1. Even though the conference tournament game was more significant, it’s the 4-3 loss that the Cats remember.

“In the Big Ten loss they just outplayed us,” coach Paul Torricelli said. “It was the first match during the regular season that still really lingers for me.”

And the Hoosiers, despite being ranked 20 spots lower than the Cats, are not a team to take lightly. NU is Indiana’s first conference match of the season and comes after Indiana’s impressive run at No. 27 Virginia, where they lost 4-3. Indiana’s Jakub Praibis upset the No. 18-ranked singles player at Virginia to improve his record to 8-1 on the season.

Indiana also boasts the No. 49 ranked doubles team in the nation of Ryan Recht and John Stone, who proved to be potent singles players by sealing Indiana’s win against Virginia at the No. 2 and No. 6 singles spots.

This is the second straight road game for the Cats, who spent almost the entire month of February in Evanston playing eight straight home games in a row.

“It’s Indiana, so I’m sure they’ll have a lot of people there,” freshman Matt Christian said. “I’m sure it will be loud.”

NU is looking to gain that elusive double point the team lost last week against Wisconsin.

“The most important thing is winning the doubles point,” he said. “Then you only have to win half of the singles matches instead of winning a majority. Also, if you win the doubles point, your team should be better.”

The Cats’ No. 3 doubles team, composed of Adam Schaecterle and Christian, has not lost a match this season except against Harvard, who shut the Cats out 7-0.

Torricelli said going on the road will present a challenge for NU, but it doesn’t change what the team needs to do to win.

“There’s always an advantage to the home team,” Torricelli said. “We just have to win four points before they do.”