Men's Tennis Falls to No. 2 Ohio State, 5-2
March 23, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team lost its third Big Ten contest of the season as it fell to No. 2 Ohio State Sunday afternoon inside the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. The Spartans (6-10, 0-3 Big Ten) lost by a final score of 5-2. The loss was just MSU's first home loss this season (6-1).
MSU nearly pulled out the doubles point but came up just short. Senior Aaron Pfister and freshman Brett Forman picked up the win on court three, 8-4. Juniors Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun lost on court two, meaning the doubles match would be decided on the outcome on court one.
The tandem of senior Drew Lied and sophomore John Patrick Mullane matched up with the No. 4 doubles team in the nation, Kevin Metka and Peter Kobelt, on court one. Each team held serve until five all, when Mullane and Lied were finally able to break and grab a 6-5 lead. Ohio State broke right back, however, and went on to win the next two games. Lied and Mullane pushed the match to a tiebreak but came up short in the breaker, falling 8-7(3).
"We had a great crowd and the guys really stepped up their game," head coach Gene Orlando said. "We played some great doubles. As the matches kept on going longer and longer, we kept on playing better. We had chances at number one to get close to serving it out but we weren't able to and then we went to a breaker and came up just a little short."
In singles, MSU was able to win two of the six matches. Pfister picked up his ninth win of the season, defeating Chris Diaz on court two, 7-6(5), 6-4. Pfister is 2-1 in conference matches. The other win for MSU came from Mullane on court three. Mullane defeated the 120th-ranked singles player in the nation, Herkko Pollanen, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Mullane is a perfect 3-0 in Big Ten play, with all of those matches coming on court one.
"We were able to come back in the singles and play with that same type of energy," Orlando said. "We sent the number two team in the country almost to the limits and it's no fun losing but we're getting close. We're playing well with the top teams in the country, we've just got to convert the next opportunity."
MSU hosts two home matches next weekend with No. 60 Nebraska on March 28 and No. 68 Iowa on March 30.
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