Jan. 9, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team will begin its 2014 spring dual schedule on Saturday as it plays host to Detroit and Toledo. MSU will face Detroit at 10 a.m. and Toledo at 6 p.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. Admission is free.
"We are very excited to kick off the season this weekend," head coach Gene Orlando said. "We are taking one match at a time. We are staying focused on the process and improving our individual games for the success of the team."
Michigan State is currently ranked No. 47 in the Jan. 2 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll.
Last Time Out
The Spartans last competed Oct. 25-28, 2013, at the Big Ten Indoors. Overall, MSU was good for a 13-14 singles record during its three days at the tournament. Sophomore John Patrick Mullane advanced to the semifinals.
The 2012-13 season marked one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Spartans earned an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament for the first time since the team tournament format began in 1972. MSU posted a 14-14 overall record and a 6-5 Big Ten record last season.
Lied-ing with a Pfist
The Spartans will be led on-court by senior captains Drew Lied and Aaron Pfister. Both players are entering their fourth season in the program under Coach Orlando, who is in his 22nd season leading the Spartans.
Pfister kicked off his 2013 fall schedule by competing in the singles main qualifying bracket at the ITA All-American Championships, but lost in the first round. He was also named to the all-tournament team at the Bobby Bayliss Invitational after posting a 3-1 singles and a 2-0 doubles record. Pfister also was a quarterfinalist at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships.
Pfister finished the 2012-13 season with a 17-17 overall singles record. He notched a 13-13 dual match record, with all of his matches played on the No. 1 court. The Grand Ledge, Mich., native posted a 6-5 Big Ten singles record and was selected to the first-team All-Big Ten team for the second consecutive season.
Lied also started his 2013 fall campaign at the ITA All-American Championships. Lied earned an automatic bid to the singles main draw after he won the ITA/USTA National Summer Championships. The Brookfield, Wis., native also advanced to the round of 16 at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships.
Lied spent the 2012-13 season competing mostly at the No. 2 position, tallying a dual record of 12-13 and an individual record of 16-16. He posted a 7-4 Big Ten singles record and was named second-team All-Big Ten.
Details on Detroit
Detroit finished the 2012-13 season with a 9-14 overall record and a 4-8 record during away matches.
Sophomore Rafael Orantes is the top returning singles player, after tallying a 12-8 mark last season. Orantes competed on the No. 4, 5 and 6 courts. Junior Jay Joshi is the top returning doubles player. Joshi posted a 10-9 overall doubles record.
MSU last faced Detroit on Jan. 12, 2013. The Spartans blanked the Titans 7-0. Among the active Spartans who were victorious that day included Pfister, Lied, Linders, John Patrick Mullane, Harry Jadun, Will Davis, and Doug Zade.
Tales on Toledo
Toledo tallied a 19-10 overall record during the 2012-13 season. They were just 1-4 in conference play, but did post a 7-5 record during away matches overall.
Junior Nicholas Wong is the top returning singles player, having posted a 14-8 dual record on the No. 3 court. Sophomore Ryan Jorgensen looks to be a solid doubles player, after recording a 13-7 overall mark last season competing in the No. 2 and No. 3 position.
Toledo will face a total of five Big Ten opponents this season.
MSU did have one singles match against Toledo during 2013 fall play. At the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, junior Harry Jadun took down Toledo's Stjepan Sisko 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5).
MSU last faced Toledo as a team on Feb. 4, 2012, a match in which MSU won 6-1. Pfister, Lied, Davis, Jadun and Linders are among the active Spartans who contributed to that win.
The Spartans will add two newcomers to the program next year. Jasper Koenen (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and Michael Dube (Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) signed their National Letters of Intent and will join the Spartan tennis program in the fall of 2014.