Feb. 2, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team broke a two-match losing streak with a 4-3 win over visiting No. 75 Harvard at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center on Friday evening. The Spartans improved to 5-2 on the season as the Crimson took a loss in its season-opening match.
The Spartans opened up doubles play with an 8-6 win by the No. 2 team of Michael Flowers and Alex Forger over Harvard's Scott Denenberg and Gideon Valkin. Harvard came back with a victory at No. 3 doubles, as MSU's Tyler Sauerbrey and John Allare fell to Chris Clayton and Dan Nguyen, 8-4. The Spartans earned the doubles points with a hard-fought victory at No. 1. Tied at 8-all, MSU's No. 29-ranked doubles team of Adam Monich and Nick Rinks won in a decisive tiebreaker, 7-5, over Harvard's Ashwin Kumar and Michael Hayes.
"We used some new combinations and placed one team that is ranked back together," Spartan head coach Gene Orlando said. "Thankfully, we were able to pull out two of the three doubles matches. It came down to our No. 1 doubles team, and they finished it out in the tiebreaker."
With the Green and White up 1-0 after doubles play, the team continued the momentum with two singles victories by Alex Forger (6-1, 6-4) over Kumar and Allare over Denenberg (6-2, 6-2) at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.
Trailing 3-0, the Crimson responded by winning the next three singles matches: Harvard's Michael Kalfayan defeated Sauerbrey (6-0, 6-2) at No. 6; Clayton defeated Ricks (7-5, 7-5) at No. 1; and Nguyen defeated Flowers (7-5, 6-4) at No. 5.
The outcome came down to a three-set match between MSU's Monich and Harvard's Valkin at No. 3. Monich took the first set, 6-4, but Valkin tied the match with a 6-1 win in the second set. In the third and final set, Monich finished off Valkin, 6-1.
"I love having the match come down to me," Monich said. "I was not playing my best tennis, but I got it done with my serve and I used my strengths to my advantage. This is really big for our team to come back and get a 4-3 win. The whole morale of the team will be much better heading into Sunday's match against Ball State."
Michigan State returns to action Sunday, Feb. 4, as the Spartans travel to Muncie, Ind., for a 12 p.m. match against No. 75 Ball State.