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Ben Hetzler earns doubles
victory with Trey Eubanks.
(file photo)

Men's Tennis Ends 24-Year Drought to Minnesota

Spartans last dual victory over Gophers was in 1973.

April 4, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich.- The Michigan State men's tennis team did something today that it has not done since 1973 and that is to defeat Minnesota in dual match competition. The Spartans defeated the Golden Gophers 4-3 Saturday at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. The match was Michigan State's first home Big Ten dual match of the season and moves its record to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

The key for the Spartans this season has been its doubles play, and today was no exception. Michigan State is 8-1 in matches when it wins the doubles point, and MSU took two of three matches against Minnesota to secure the crucial point. In the No. 2 contest, senior Benjamin Hetzler and junior Trey Eubanks teamed together to defeat Martin Kristoffersen and Tyson Parry of Minnesota 8-3. The Spartan pair improved their record in No. 2 position matches to 7-2. The other Spartan doubleis victory came when the sophomore team of Ivica Primorac and Francisco Trinidad defeated Jon Svensson and Adam Selkirk 8-5 in the No. 3 match.

The two teams went point for point in singles competition with the fate of the contest finally decided in the tiebreaker of the No. 1 contest. The match featured the Spartan captain Eubanks against Minnesotais top performer Tom Chicoine. The marathon match ended with Eubanks winning the match 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (2) thus securing the victory for the Spartan team. He also improved his overall record to 22-6 while his record in No. 1 position matches is 13-3. This was the second time this year that Eubanks and Chicoine went head to head. The Spartan standout defeated Chicoine in January at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

"He (Eubanks) is our go to guy, and our captain, so naturally he is the person that we would want in that situation," said Michigan State head coach Gene Orlando. "I thought that he showed a lot of poise and determination to pull through with the victory."

The other Spartan victories in singles competition came from Primorac in the No. 2 match over Martin Michalowski in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, and in the No. 5 contest when sophomore Ken Kigongo downed Jorge Duenas 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Michigan State will play its second home Big Ten contest of the weekend against Iowa on Sunday, April 5, at 1:00 p.m. The match is scheduled to be played at the MSU Outdoor Courts, but the weather may force the contest with the Hawkeyes to move to the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.

1. Trey Eubanks, MSU, def. Tom Chicoine, Minn,                  7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (2)
2. Ivica Primorac, MSU, def. Martin Michalowski, Minn,          6-4, 6-4
3. Adam Selkirk, Minn, def. Chris Struck, MSU,                  6-3, 7-6 (4)
4. Jon Svensson, Minn, def. Ben Hetzler, MSU,                   2-6, 6-1, 6-2 
5. Ken Kigongo, MSU, def. Jorge Duenas, Minn,                   6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Martin Kristofferson, Minn, def. Francisco Trinidad, MSU,    6-2, 6-1

Doubles: 1. Chicoine/Michalowski, Minn, def. Struck/Kigongo, MSU, 9-8 (5) 2. Hetzler/Eubanks, MSU, def. Kristoffersen/Parry, Minn., 8-3 3. Primorac/Trinidad, MSU, def. Svensson/Selkirk, Minn, 8-5

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