Men's Tennis Bounced by No. 34 Tulsa, 4-3
Feb. 16, 2014
TULSA, Okla. - The No. 50th-ranked Michigan State men's tennis team dropped its match to No. 34 Tulsa Sunday afternoon inside the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., by a final tally of 4-3. If there was a parallel to a buzzer-beater in tennis terms, this match would fit in that category as the final point came down to one match. With the loss, the Spartans fall to 4-5 on the season.
MSU jumped out to a quick start as it took the doubles point. The doubles win marked the first time this season MSU has won the doubles point against a ranked opponent. Juniors Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun picked up the win on court two, defeating the No. 47th-ranked doubles team in the nation Alejandro Espejo and Japie De Klerk by a final of 8-7(5). Freshman Brett Forman and senior Aaron Pfister won 8-2 on the third court over Daniel Santos and Matthew Kirby.
In singles, MSU claimed wins on courts four and five to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Linders defeated Dylan McCloskey 6-4, 6-3, on the court four, while Forman took care of Carlos Bautista 6-3, 6-3, on court five. Forman is quietly having a superb start to his freshman campaign as he is 6-0 on the season in dual play, evenly splitting his matches between courts four and five.
Pfister, who slipped into the national singles rankings at No. 125 last week, faced No. 74 Clifford Marsland on court two. Pfister won the first set 6-3 but could not hold on as he fell in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Senior Drew Lied was ousted on the top court, losing in straight sets to No. 106 Japie De Klerk 6-4, 7-5.
With Jadun losing in three sets on court six, the match would be decided on the outcome of the court three match between sophomore John Patrick Mullane and Alejandro Espejo. Mullane rallied to win the second set in a tiebreaker to force a third set. The third set would be pushed to a tiebreaker as well. Mullane held a 4-2 edge in the breaker but was not able to pull through as he lost in by a final of 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(5).
MSU loss was its fifth to a ranked opponent and its fifth on the road.
The Spartans will return home to face Xavier on Feb. 22 at 12 p.m.
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