March 2, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team dropped a 7-0 decision to the No. 7 team in the nation, Big Ten foe Illinois on Friday evening at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. The loss dropped the Spartans to 6-7, 0-3 in Big Ten, and improved Illinois to 7-1, 1-0.
"The score was 7-0, but I don't think it was indicative on how competitive the match was," said head coach Gene Orlando. "The guys played hard and well against one of the top teams in the country. I was impressed on how we were able to raise our level of play against a better team."
The evening started with three close matches in doubles play. The No. 2 doubles team of Michael Flowers and Alex Forger were defeated by Ruben Gonzales and Brandon Davis, 8-4. The No. 3 duo of John Allare and Tyler Sauerbrey fell short to G.D. Jones and Marc Spicijaric, 8-6. In the third and final doubles match up, No. 1 team Monich and Rinks had their first doubles conference loss of the season at the hands of the Illini's Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe, 8-6.
With the doubles point behind them, MSU hoped to rebound with a singles victory, but fell short against six strong Illini singles players. Illinois' Davis defeated Sauerbrey, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 6. Jones won against No. 5 Norville, 6-2, 6-0. No. 1 Spartan singles player Rinks lost his first conference match of the season to Anderson, 6-4, 6-4. Spicijaric beat MSU's Allare, 7-5, 2-6 and 10-5 in the super-breaker on court No. 4. No. 3 Monich fell to Gonzales 5-7, 7-6 (10-6), 7-5, and in the final match on court No. 2, Rowe defeated Forger 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The Spartans will remain at home next Saturday, March 10 for a doubleheader against DePaul and Western Illinois. The first match versus Depaul is scheduled for 10 a.m. and Western Illinois is slated to begin at 4 p.m.