March 22, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich.-The Michigan State men's tennis team improved to 9-4 overall and 1-0 in the conference when it opened the Big Ten dual match season with a victory Saturday night over Ohio State 5-2. The match was held in Columbus, Ohio and it marks the Spartans third consecutive victory over the Buckeyes in dual match competition. The key to the victory was the contribution of Michigan State's lower lineup players and strong doubles play.
In the doubles matches, MSU swept all three matches from Ohio State to earn the doubles point. Junior Chris Struck and sophomore Ken Kigongo started things off for the Green and White in the No. 1 match with an 8-6 victory over senior Scott Wiles and junior Ben Basil. In the No. 2 match, Michigan State senior Ben Hetzler and junior Trey Eubanks defeated freshman Chris Porter and junior Pari Laxminarayan 8-4. Their victory moves the Spartan duo to 5-1 in No. 2 doubles matches this season. The sophomore squad of Ivica Primorac and Francisco Trinidad were able to hold off the Ohio State freshman team of Bob Wellstein and Derek DeFalco 9-7 to secure the Spartan sweep.
The big story for Michigan State in the singles portion of the dual match was the solid effort given by the lower lineup players. The Spartans top two position players fell to the Buckeyes top performers with Eubanks losing to Wiles 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 1 and Primorac being downed at the No. 2 spot by Wiles in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. In the No. 3 match, Struck ended a three-match losing streak with a victory over Laxminarayan 6-7, 6-4, 6-0. Hetzler continued his strong play at the No. 4 spot with a victory over Basil 7-6, 6-3. The victory moves the lone Spartan senior to 7-1 in No. 4 matches this season. The No. 5 match saw Kigongo down Wellstein 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, and in the No. 6 match, Trinidad downed DeFalco in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
The Spartans next dual match action is Tuesday, March 24, at home against Ball State University, the alma matter of Michigan State head coach Gene Orlando. The matches will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. Admission is free to the public.
Singles: 1. Chris Porter, OSU, def. Trey Eubanks, MSU, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 2. Scott Wiles, OSU, def. Ivica Primorac, MSU, 6-4, 6-2 3. Chris Struck, MSU, def. Pari Laxminarayan, OSU, 6-7, 6-4, 6-0 4. Ben Hetzler, MSU, def. Ben Basil, OSU, 7-6, 6-3 5. Ken Kigongo, MSU, def. Bob Wellstein, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 6. Francisco Trinidad, MSU, def. Derek DeFalco, 6-1, 6-2 Doubles: 1. Struck/Kigongo, MSU, def. Wiles/Basil, OSU, 8-6 2. Hetzler/Eubanks, MSU, def. Porter/Laxminarayan, OSU, 8-4 3. Primorac/Trinidad, MSU, def. Wellstein/Defalco, OSU, 9-7