Challenge ahead for men’s tennis

After knocking off ‘Noles, tennis team has much bigger opponent awaiting
The Hurricanes men’s tennis players certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend.
The ‘Canes head up to Champagne, Ill. to take on both No. 39 Indiana University and No. 2 University of Illinois. Even though the Hurricanes have a higher ranking than their first opponent, the Hoosiers, head Coach Bryan Getz does not want to take this match lightly.
“Indiana is no slouch,” Getz said. “It’s going to be two very tough matches for us this weekend. The main thing that’s important for us is that we need to make sure that we do not look ahead of Indiana.”
After Indiana, the Hurricanes head back to the University of Illinois to face the Fighting Illini on Sunday. Illinois is coming off a 4-2 win against the Florida Gators on Feb. 23, a victory that gave them the 2003 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor title. The win also made Illinois the first non-California team to win the Indoor title since Southern Methodist did it in 1983.
Despite the Illini being the overwhelming favorite to win Sunday’s match, Getz is confident in his squad’s ability.
“They are the No. 1 team in the country and we have nothing to lose,” Getz said. “Our guys are in a great frame of mind and we are confident.”
So far this season, Miami has defeated Florida Atlantic, North Carolina State, Florida A&M, Texas A&M and most recently Florida State. Illinois enters the match undefeated and Indiana posts a record of 8-1, losing only to No. 26 Vanderbilt. The Hoosiers most impressive victories are against No. 40 Northwestern and No. 44 Notre Dame.
Miami’s Todd Widom, the nation’s No. 18 singles player, has his chance at redemption against the Illini. Back on Nov. 9, Widom lost 7-6 (2), 7-5 to Illinois’ Amer Delic in the semifinals of the Omni Hotels National Collegiate Indoor Championships. Delic, a junior, is ranked No. 3 in the country.
This weekend the matches will be played indoors, something Miami has only experienced once this season.
“It’s a different game,” Getz said. “The speed is different and it’s going to take some adjusting.”
Getz also points to the doubles matches as possibly being the most critical factor. “Whoever wins the doubles point is in the driver’s seat,” Getz said. “Doubles is crucial. If we win the doubles point, I think it’s hard for any team to take four out of six singles matches from us. I just think we are too good for that.”
Miami pairs together Luis Manrique and John Hoyes, Andrew Golub and Colin Purcell, and Todd Widom and Eric Hechtman as its doubles teams. The ‘Canes are forced to play all of their players in the doubles matches since Zachary Hood is out with mononucleosis and Tim Krebs is not available due to torn ligaments in his ankle.
Matches start at noon on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
– Ben Wolf can be reached at