Spartans Open Season With Wins Over UIC And IUPUI
Michigan State defeats Illinois Chicago, 7-0 and IUPUI, 5-2.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State men’s tennis opened the spring season strong with two home wins over UIC, 7-0, and IUPUI, 5-2, at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility on Saturday. This is the second-straight season that the Spartans have started the spring 2-0.
"It’s always nice to get two wins to start off the season. I felt like we all played well,” Michigan State head coach Gene Orlando said. “In our last match, it got competitive and that’s what you want. You want to be challenged. I still feel like our guys could’ve played a little bit better in those spots, but that’s something to work on in the weeks to come.”
All 11 Spartans earned their first wins of the season either in singles or doubles play, including the first regular season wins for freshmen John Carlin, Josh Mukherjee, Jack Winkler and Davis Wong.
“I think they’re excited. Obviously, there’s a little bit of nerves, especially for the freshmen playing in their first dual match,” Orlando said. “It’s never easy, but as a coach you kind of forget about it. All of a sudden you’re in the moment, and you’re trying to get them through. I think it was a great day for them and we can move on.”
The Spartans began doubles play with a quick win from senior Jasper Koenen and junior Ivan Rakic over UIC’s William Wale and Alvaro De La Fuente, 6-1. Freshman John Carlin paired up with junior Billy Shisler to defeat Johan Hedstrom and Marco Nanni, 6-3. Senior Michael Dube and Mukherjee took the third doubles match, 7-5.
In singles play, Muhkerjee was the first Spartan to finish with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Hedstrom. Koenen took a 6-0, 6-4 win over Alvaro De La Fuente for his first singles win of the season, setting up the next match as the clincher. Junior Colin Harvey defeated Piotr Lada, 6-0, 6-2 sealed the victory for the Spartans. Winkler captured a win over Marco Nanni, 6-1, 6-4, freshman Davis Wong defeated Marcelo Dib, 6-1, 6-2 and senior Brett Forman took down Niko Wasilewicz, 7-5, 6-3 to finish the match with a score of 7-0 over the Flames.
In doubles, junior Alexander Kim and Wong teamed up to defeat Matt Moe and Grant Weaver of IUPUI, 6-1. Harvey and Winkler clinched the doubles point with a 6-1 win over Ethan Mardanus-Budiono and Kyle Whittaker. Forman and Koenen took the third doubles match, topping David Beasley and Bradley Leutschwager, 6-4. After doubles, the Spartans jumped out to the early 1-0 lead.
Forman defeated Jac Newis at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-2, followed by Kim over Grant Esposito, 6-1, 6-4. To clinch the match, Dube took down Beasley, 6-2, 6-1. Shisler fell to Mardanus-Budiono, 6-3, 6-3 to give the Jaguars their first point of the day, and Rakic was downed by Luetschwager, 6-4, 6-3. In the last match of the day, Carlin bested Eric Hollingsworth 3-6, 6-3, 1-0.
Michigan State is on the road next weekend against Notre Dame on Friday, Jan. 19 in South Bend, Indiana, at 5 p.m. and against Vanderbilt on Sunday, Jan. 21 in Nashville, Tennessee, at 1 p.m. ET.