March 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 52 Spartan men's tennis team fell 4-3 for the second time in as many matches, as Michigan was able to capture four victories in singles en route to their first conference win of the season. The 40th ranked Wolverines were able to break a five game losing streak, and are now 5-6 on the season. The Spartans move to 6-8 on the season.
The Green and White jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Senior Denis Bogatov and junior Aaron Pfister topped Barrett Franks and Justin Rossi 8-5 in the No. 2 slot, while junior Drew Lied and freshman JP Mullane defeated Shaun Bernstein and Alex Petrone at No. 3. Sophomores Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun fell at the No. 1 slot to Evan King and Alex Buzzi, 8-3.
MSU extended the lead to 2-0 with a win at the No. 4 singles position from Mullane, who topped Zhu in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
But the Wolverines were not going down without a fight. Michigan tied the match up at two with a pair of hard fought, three set victories at the No. 5 and 6 positions. Jadun fell to Buzzi 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 at No. 6, and Linders fell at No. 5 to Franks 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
The Spartans were able to regain the lead at the No. 2 position, where Bogatov took the set over Petrone, 6-3, 7-6.
But the back and forth pattern continued and the Wolverines tied it up again at three with a win at No. 1. Evan King kept his perfect dual season singles record alive with a tough victory over Pfister, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
For the second time in as many contests, the match came down to the final competition in the No. 2 spot. Despite a great effort and a 7-6 victory in the second set, Lied fell to Vlad Stefan 6-2, 7-6, 6-1 to give the Wolverines the victory.
The Spartans will continue action at home next weekend when they host a pair of Big Ten foes. MSU will face Minnesota on Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. before facing the Badgers of Wisconsin on Sunday, March 24 at 12 p.m.