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Indiana Falls Short in NCAA Opening Round to LSU, 4-3

May 13, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Indiana (23-8, 9-1) men's tennis' record-breaking season came to an end on Friday afternoon in a tough 4-3 loss to Louisiana State University (12-13, 5-6). The Hoosiers fell in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship hosted by Texas A&M.

The doubles portion of the match was very close at all three positions. The No. 44 duo of Santiago Gruter and Jeremy Langer started things for Indiana picking up a win at No. 1, 8-5, over the eighth-nationally ranked combo of Neal Skupski and Sebastian Carlsson of LSU. At No. 2, Josh MacTaggart and Stephen Vogl fell just short in their match, 8-6.

With the doubles tied at 1-1, it came down to the No. 3 match to decide the team point. Will Kendall and Isade Juneau found themselves leading in that match, 7-6. However LSU's Julien Gauthier and Olivier Borsos fought back to win two-consecutive games to take an 8-7 advantage in favor of the Tigers. IU bounced right back to even the match at 8-8 to force a tiebreaker. Both sides traded points back and forth and late in the tiebreak it was knotted at 9-9. IU then had the serve and Juneau took advantage serving an ace to give IU a 10-9 advantage. Then in the next volley as LSU charged the net, Kendall hit one softly deep behind the Tigers and the ball landed just inside the baseline to give IU the tiebreaker and the team doubles point.

LSU evened the match to begin singles action as Gauthier topped IU's Dimitrije Tasic at No. 6, 6-3, 6-3. Moments later, 109th-ranked MacTaggart of Indiana was triumphant at No. 3 over Stefan Szacinski in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Gruter, the lone senior and only member of the team with NCAA experience, fell behind early in the No. 2 position dropping the first set. But it did not phase him as he only relinquished one game to LSU's Borsos in the final two sets to come out on top, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0. That win also gave IU a 3-1 advantage in the overall team score.

At No. 4 singles, LSU's Carlsson outplayed Indiana's Juneau in the opening set allowing just one game to Juneau. Then in the second set, Carlsson jumped on top again to lead, 5-2, but Juneau roared back winning five-consecutive games to take the second set. However, it was Carlsson who would outlast the Juneau to earn LSU's second team point, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Then in the No. 1 match, Skupski of the Tigers was on the winning end of a second set tiebreaker over IU's Langer, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), to even the match at 3-3.

It would all come down to the No. 5 matchup of Stephen Vogl of Indiana against Mark Bowtell of LSU. The opening set was decided in a tiebreaker as Bowtell came out on top to win the first set. Vogl turned around with a 6-2 triumph in the second set. With each player having a game under their belt, the third and final set would decide the match. Bowtell jumped out early but Vogl rebounded to tie the set, 3-3. Bowtell then went on to win three-straight games to clinch the match for the Tigers.

The Hoosiers end their season with the most wins in program history with 23. IU also tied a school mark for Big Ten victories, going 9-1 in conference matches.