April 25, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the third consecutive year, the Spartan men's tennis squad earned a first-round victory in the Big Ten Tournament, topping Nebraska 4-3 in a match that came down to the final set. Despite falling behind early, MSU rallied to win four singles matches to clinch the victory.
The Cornhuskers jumped out early and took the doubles point with victories at the No. 1 and 2 positions. Dusty Boyer and Marc Herrmann topped junior Drew Lied and freshman JP Mullane 8-3 on court two, while Andre Stenger and Bradford Zitsch defeated sophomores Harry Jadun and Gijs Linders 8-4 at No. 1.
Linders earned the first point for the Spartans with a singles victory on court five with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Sebastian Florczyk.
Down 3-1, the Green and White needed victories in all of the remaining singles matches to pull out the victory.
The Spartans got a much-needed second point in the No. 2 slot from Drew Lied, who was able to come back after falling in the first set to earn a 2-6, 7-6, 6-0 win over Stenger.
Mullane and Jadun would be the deciding factors for MSU on courts four and six. Both were able to take the first set, as Mullane topped Tom Blackwell 7-5 and Jadun defeated Andrew Dzulysky, 6-3. With a 7-5 victory in the final set over Blackwell, Mullane tied up the match at three, leaving the point at No. 6 as the deciding factor for the match.
Dzulysky was able to earn a victory in the second set over Jadun 7-5, sending the match into a third set to determine who would advance to the second round. With the pressure on, the sophomore was able to come through for the Spartans with a 6-3 victory that sealed the win and a chance to take on No. 2 seed Minnesota tomorrow afternoon.
With the victory, the Spartans have now won their opening match in the Big Ten Tournament for three straight years. MSU defeated Purdue in a first round matchup last season, and edged Northwestern in 2011.
MSU will be looking for redemption against the Gophers, who narrowly topped the Spartans 4-3 in the dual season. Match time is set for tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. the winner will advance to the semi-finals to face the winner of Michigan and Indiana.