March 29, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 70 Michigan State men's tennis team lost to No. 44 Indiana, 4-3, at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility on Saturday afternoon. Indiana took the early advantage, sweeping a very close doubles competition, 9-7, 9-8 (12-10), 9-8 (7-4). The Hoosiers then sealed the victory early in singles play, taking the first three matches. MSU is now 11-7 on the season and 0-4 in Big Ten play, while Indiana improves to 12-4 (2-1 Big Ten).
In doubles action, Indiana's Lachlan Ferguson and Phillip Eilers pulled out the close victory over No. 59 Alex Forger and Billy Gardner, 9-7. At No. 2, Indiana's Dara McLoughlin and Thomas Richter survived Adam Monich and John Allare in a tiebreaker 9-8 (12-10), while MSU's Nick Rinks and Tyler Sauerbrey fell short at No. 3, and were narrowly defeated by Santiago Gruter and Peter Antons, 9-8 (7-4).
Indiana took care of business quickly in singles play, clinching the match after taking the first three matches in singles. At No. 4 Monich lost to Ferguson, 6-3, 6-2, while Scott Rasmussen was defeated at No. 5 by Michael McCarthy, 6-3, 6-0. At No. 2, McLoughlin beat Forger, 6-2, 6-0, giving Indiana the 4-0 lead and the match.
The Spartans' intensity picked up late in the competition, as MSU rattled off the last three matches within minutes of each other. At No. 3, Allare finished off his comeback bid after losing the first set, and defeated Eilers 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9). Sauerbrey also rebounded late in the match, fighting off match point five times, and outlasting Gruter, 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (15-13). Michigan State's No. 1 Rinks, ranked 96th nationally, gave MSU its third point of the day after a close call against Thomas Richter, winning in the super tiebreaker, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (10-6).
"This was a disapointing loss today," said MSU head coach Gene Orlando. "We lost the doubles point, which was tough to take considering that every doubles match was pushed to the limit. In singles we really just got off to a slow start. I thought we battled back well, but unfortunately the match was over at that point. We just came up a little short in the end."
Michigan State returns to action tomorrow as it plays host to No. 2 Ohio State at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility at 12 p.m.