Spartans Fall to Memphis
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s tennis team fell to Memphis, 7-0, Friday night at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
The Tigers (5-2) began the dual by winning two of the three doubles matches to take the doubles point. Kai Lemke and Matt Story topped Michael Dube and Josh Mukherjee at No. 2, 6-1, but Billy Shisler and John Carlin defeated Jan Pallares and Felix Rauch at No. 3, 6-2. At No. 1 doubles, Andrew Watson and Ryan Peniston clinched the first point with a 6-3 win over Brett Forman and Jasper Koenen.
Memphis carried its momentum from winning the doubles point into singles, winning all six matches, although two were decided in super tiebreakers.
“Memphis is a very good team and they make you battle for every point,” said MSU head coach Gene Orlando. “When things aren’t going our way, we have to be a little bit stronger and tougher, but I did see a lot of positives. I thought the guys at four, five and six (singles) were very competitive tonight. I really feel like we’re getting better and working hard.”
Watson beat Dube at No. 2, 6-1, 6-1, and Lemke gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Davis Wong at No. 3.
Peniston, who is ranked No. 61 in the nation, sealed the dual victory with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Forman in the matchup at No. 1 singles.
Although the dual was decided, the Spartans battled Memphis to the end in the final three matches. At No. 6 singles, Billy Shisler fell in the first set to Jan Pallares, 6-2, but won the second set, 7-6 (7-2). In the third set, Shisler dropped the super tiebreaker, 10-5.
Josh Mukherjee lost two close sets to Felix Rauch at No. 4 singles, 7-5, 7-6 (12-10).
In the final match of the dual at No. 5 singles, John Carlin took Chris Patzanovsky to the wire all the way to the super tiebreaker. Carlin lost a tough 7-6 (9-7) first set and then evened things out with a 7-5 win in the second set. Patzanovsky ultimately came through in the super tiebreaker, 10-8.
The Spartans (4-7) return to action with a doubleheader next Saturday in East Lansing against Ball State (10 a.m.) and Detroit (6 p.m.).