Jan. 20, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 53 Michigan State men's tennis team dropped their first dual this season, to No. 16 Mississippi State at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility on Friday evening. Both teams entered the match-up with perfect dual records, but after a couple of hard-fought matches in both the doubles and singles, the Bulldogs pulled away with the 5-2 victory.
The Spartans struggled to get things going in doubles action, dropping two out of the three match-ups. In the doubles top spot, Aaron Pfister and Austin Brooks fell to Mississippi State's Malte Stropp and Louis Cant, 8-4. The Bulldogs clinched the doubles point when they picked up their second win on court 2 against Drew Lied and Mat Nelson. The Lied/Nelson tandem lost to George Coupland and Artem Illyushin, 8-3.
In the final doubles contest on court 3, the Spartan's Denis Bogatov and Harry Jadun jumped out to an early 6-3 lead. The Bulldog's James Chaudry and Ethan Wilkinson battled back, sending the match into a tiebreaker but Michigan State came out on top, picking up the win with an 8-7 (6) score.
Michigan State looked to rebound in singles action, as they came out to a quick start, taking the first sets on five of the six courts. They pushed the Bulldogs to three, three-set matches but were only able to come out on top in two.
Senior Ronnie Hulewicz picked up the team's first win in singles action with a quick 6-2, 6-1 win over Chaudry on court 2.
On court 3, Brooks battled it out against Stropp. The senior picked up the first set 6-3, but seemed to struggle over the next two falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
In the singles four spot, Lied matched up against Cant. Lied pushed the 45th nationally-ranked Bulldog in the first but slipped up in the second, falling 7-5, 6-1.
The Spartans other lone win came in the exciting match-up on court 6. Spartan Will Davis defeated Ethan Wilkinson 6-4 in the first and pushed through a tough battle to pick up the second set 7-5.
In the top singles spot, Bogatov looked to carry over his doubles win into his individual game and pushed Illyushin to a three-set match. The junior came out fighting in the first, easily picking up the set 6-3. But after a hard-fought battle Illyushin pushed back and took the next two sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 for the win.
Court 5 rounded out the evening's action with a close three-set contest against Michigan State's Gijs Linders and Mississippi State's George Coupland. Linders easily took the first set in a 6-3 win but struggled in the second and couldn't quite hold on at the end in the third to fall 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Spartans move to 3-1 in dual action but look to bounce back Sunday in a quick turnaround as they travel to the campus of Indianapolis University for a pair of matches against Kentucky and IUPUI. MSU Spartans is scheduled to take on the No. 7 ranked Wildcats at 2 p.m. and cap off the weekend with a night match-up against the Jaguars at 7 p.m.
1. Louis Cant/Malte Stropp (Miss. St.) def. Austin Brooks/Aaron Pfister (Mich. St.) 8-4
2. George Coupland/Artem Illyushin (Miss. St.) def. Drew Lied/Mat Nelson (Mich. St.) 8-3
3. Denis Bogatov/Harry Jadun (Mich. St.) def. James Chaudry/Ethan Wilkinson (Miss. St.) 8-7 (6)
1. Artem Illyushin (Miss. St.) def. Denis Bogatov (Mich. St.) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
2. Ronnie Hulewicz (Mich St.) def. James Chaudry (Miss. St.) 6-2, 6-1
3. Malte Stropp (Miss. St.) def. Austin Brooks (Mich. St.) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
4. Louis Cant (Miss. St.) def. Drew Lied (Mich. St.) 7-5, 6-1
5. George Coupland (Miss. St.) def. Gijs Linders (Mich. St.) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Will Davis (Mich. St.) def. Ethan Wilkinson (Miss. St.) 6-4, 7-5