Feb. 4, 2007
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Michigan State men's tennis team hadn't beat Ball State in three years or on the road since 1999 - all of that changed Sunday afternoon as the Spartans recorded a convincing 6-1 victory over the No. 75 Cardinals.
The Green and White started the day off with a win from the No. 3 doubles team, as John Allare and Tyler Sauerbrey recorded an 8-5 victory over Bret Berryman and Joe Vallee. Ball State came back with the No. 1 duo of Jose Perdomo and Joe Epkey, handing Nick Rinks and Adam Monich the first Spartan loss with an 8-5 set.
As with Friday's match against Harvard, the doubles point came down to the third match, leaving the decision in the hands of MSU's No. 2 twosome of Michael Flowers and Alex Forger, who won in convincing fashion against Ball State's Aaron Phillips and Jorge Rodriguez in a 9-8 decision, 7-1 in the tiebreaker.
"Flowers and Forger came through in the clutch," said Spartan head coach Gene Orlando. "They were able to close out the doubles and take that momentum into the singles matches."
Riding the excitement of Flowers and Forger's win, MSU collected five more points from five solo victories. No. 4 singles player Allare defeated Berryman 6-3, 6-0; No. 2 Forger won over Phillips 6-2, 6-4; No. 1 Rinks won in two sets against Epkey 6-4, 6-4; Monich, the No. 3 singles player, pulled in the fifth point 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), 6-1; and rounding out the Green and White's points was freshman Jason Norville, who lost the first set 6-4, but came back to win the second set 6-2 and the super breaker 10-7 for the final Spartan point.
BSU's Vallee grabbed the only point for the Cardinals with a win over Sauerbrey, 6-4, 6-1.
The win extends the MSU winning streak to two as the team defeated the two teams in the nation tied for No. 75 in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings.
"This is two quality wins over two solid programs and it is something to build off of," said Orlando.
The Spartan men's tennis team returns to action next Saturday, Feb. 10 as it travels to No. 55 Old Dominion. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m.