March 17, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Looking for its first win in Big Ten play, the Michigan State men's tennis team fell short on Friday evening, losing 5-2, to 28th-ranked Michigan at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center. The Spartans won the doubles point behind emotional play, but dropped five solo matches in the loss. Juniors Adam Monich and Nick Rinks defeated the second-ranked doubles team in the nation, providing the bright spot in the defeat.
In doubles, the Spartan No. 1 duo of Monich and Rinks were slated against the second-ranked team in the country, Michigan's Brian Hung and Matko Maravic. Hung and Maravic had lost just their second doubles match in dual play and their first in Big Ten play when the team played Penn State last week. With Hung and Maravic's visit to Michigan State, Monich and Rinks handed them their second consecutive loss, 8-6.
"Adam Monich and Nick Rinks are a very good team and it is great for them to put it all together," head coach Gene Orlando said. "They fed off the energy from the crowd and the energy from their teammates. They were able to put a great win together."
Coming off the court second was the No. 2 duo of Mike Flowers and Alex Forger. The twosome was up 5-4, but the Wolverines' team of Ryan Heller and Andrew Mazlin came back to win, 8-5.
With the doubles point in the hands of the No. 3 team of Tyler Sauerbrey and John Allare, the two rallied back from being down, 7-5, to Michigan's George Navas and Mike Sroczynski. Tied at 7, MSU went up one game, 8-7, as Sauerbrey held his serve for the match and the doubles point. The win gave the two Spartans their first Big Ten win and improved their overall record to 3-5.
In singles, Sauerbrey was downed in two sets by Navas, 6-1, 6-0, tying the team score at 1-all. No. 2 Forger, who returned from being injured last weekend, was defeated by No. 39 Hung in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, giving the Wolverines a 2-1 advantage.
State dropped the next singles match at the No. 5 spot, as Jason Norville lost to Sroczynski, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 71 Rinks took on No. 52 Maravic on the first court. He dropped the first game, but went on to win the first set, 6-2. In the second set, he fell behind 3-4, but rallied back to win 6-4. Rinks improved to 3-1 in Big Ten singles play and earned the Green and White's second point of the match.
Left on the court was No. 3 Monich and No. 4 John Allare, and one of the solo players needed a win in order to have the last match count.
Monich faced Mazlin and was defeated, 6-3, in the first set, but came back in the second to win, 6-3. In the crucial third set, the Wolverine was up, 5-4, as Monich served on Mazlin's match point and held on to tie it at five. In the next game, Mazlin held on his serve and took a 6-5 lead. Monich could not cling on as he lost the game and match on his serve, 7-5.
With the four consecutive singles wins, Michigan clinched the victory. Last off the court was No. 4 Allare, who lost in three sets to Heller, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
The Spartans fell to 7-8 and the Wolverines improved to 9-4. The Spartans have a busy week next week as they travel to No. 44 Western Michigan on March 21 and then return home for a doubleheader against Bradley and Valparaiso on March 24.