No. 52 Men's Tennis Edges Out Northwestern, 4-3
April 23, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 52 ranked Michigan State men's tennis team earned a narrow victory in its final regular season match as they took down the No. 75 Northwestern Wildcats, 4-3, on Friday, April 22 at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. With the victory, the Spartans move to 17-8 on the season and 3-7 in conference play.
Sophomore Denis Bogatov clinched the win for the Spartans at the No. 1 position in the narrowest of victories. Bogatov got out in front of Joshua Graves with a 6-4 win in the first set, before falling 3-6 in set two. After an extensive two-hour match, Graves jumped out to a 5-1 advantage, but the Bogatov won the final five points to seal the 4-3 win for MSU and the third set, 7-6 (7-5).
MSU fell behind early by losing the doubles point, but earned four of the six singles matches to clinch the victory. Freshman Drew Lied and senior John Stratton earned the one doubles victory for the Green and White, as they took down Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf, 8-4, in the No. 1 spot.
Freshman Aaron Pfister and junior Austin Brooks fell in the No. 2 position to Tobias Reitz and Andrew McCarthy, 8-4, while junior Mat Nelson and senior Jason Norville were defeated by Chris Jackman and Raleigh Smith, 8-6, in the No. 3 slot.
After falling behind 1-0 heading into singles play, the Spartans quickly found themselves trailing 2-0 after Andrew McCarthy topped junior Ronnie Hulewicz, 6-2, 6-1, at the No. 4 position.
The Spartans rattled off a win at No. 3 as Pfister posted his team-high 20th victory of the season when he took down Raleigh Smith in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.
Northwestern put the Green and White on the hot seat when they earned its third point of the match as Spencer Wolf downed Brooks, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2 singles.
Knowing that the next NU victory ends the match, MSU dug deep to record the final three singles wins at the No. 1, 5 and 6 positions.
Lied posted the first of three-straight wins for the Spartans at the No. 6 slot when he defeated Chris Jackman, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). Stratton followed suit at the No. 5 position with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat over Tobias Reitz.
Bogatov sealed the win for MSU at No. 1 with his grueling match against Graves.
The Spartans now await to see who their first opponent will be for the Big Ten Championship Thursday, April 28 through Sunday, May 1.
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