Feb. 7, 2008
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Head Coach Gene Orlando
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Michigan State takes its game on the road, as it heads to Tulsa, Okla., for a weekend doubleheader against No. 25 Tulsa on Friday, Feb. 8, and then No. 20 Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 9. Tulsa leads the all-time series over the Spartans, 3-1, while MSU has split the all-time series with the Sooners, 1-1. Michigan State's first meeting with both teams came back in 1941.
The Spartans are coming off a strong weekend of tennis last Saturday in East Lansing, taking out Toledo, 5-2, then rolling over IUPUI with a 6-1 victory. The Rockets played it close in the first match of the day, coming out tough in doubles, but the Spartans rallied when it counted, and swept all three doubles matches, 8-5, 9-8 (4), 9-8 (3). The Spartans took the momentum from their doubles victory, posting wins in flights 1-4 of singles. No. 1 Nick Rinks made short work of Toledo's Jared Miller, 6-1, 6-1, and extended his undefeated streak to 8-0 in dual-match play. Adam Monich also stayed undefeated in 2008, as he downed Toledo's Nutthavit Likitkumchorn, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 4 singles.
In the second matchup of the day, the Spartans wasted no time, crushing the Jaguars for the doubles point, 8-3, 8-3, 8-2. In singles competition, Monich picked up his first win of the year at No. 1, defeating IUPUI's Gabriel Garcia, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6), and now has an undefeated mark of 8-0 in dual-match play. John Stratton returned to the singles lineup for MSU, and picked up his first win of the year, ousting Josh Kutch, 6-2, 6-1.
TULSA SCOUTING REPORT
The No. 25 Golden Hurricanes are 4-2 in spring-season play, but have dropped their last two matches against No. 2 Georgia, 6-1, and No. 5 Ole Miss, 7-0. All-American Arnau Brugues finished the 2006-07 season ranked fifth in the nation, while posting a singles record of 31-7. Brugues garnered many awards last season, including all-conference first team and C-USA Player of the Championship. The junior is 5-2 so far this year, and has posted a 4-2 record at No. 1 singles. Senior Ricardo Soriano, ranked No. 44 this season, finished last year's campaign with a mark of 22-13 in singles play, while going 7-2 in doubles, and earning all-conference first team honors.
SCOUTING THE COWBOYS
The No. 20 Oklahoma State Cowboys have had a tough start to the season, recording a 1-2 mark, including losses to No. 39 California and No. 5 Ole Miss. Sophomore Oleksandr Nedovyesov is 2-0 at No. 1 singles, and 3-0 at No. 1 doubles. The Cowboys have three players currently ranked in the top 100 in the nation in singles, including No. 20 Nedovyesov, No. 71 Ivan Puchkarov and No. 77 Dmytro Petrov.
At 7-2, The Spartans are off to their best start since the 2004-05 season, when they came out of the gate 8-2. MSU won its first five matches this season, before dropping two matches in a row to No. 33 Vanderbilt, and No. 11 Notre Dame. The Spartans bounced back last weekend with dominating performances over Toledo and IUPUI at home.
Nick Rinks (9-0) and Adam Monich (8-0) have led the singles play for MSU, both starting the spring season undefeated. In doubles play, Monich has posted the best record on the team, going 7-1. Ranked No. 14 in nation in the pre-season rankings, the senior duo has begun the season 3-0 at No. 1 doubles.
The men's tennis match between Tulsa and Michigan State can be seen through live video provided by the University of Tulsa.
Michigan State returns home for a match against Ball State on Saturday, Feb. 16 in East Lansing. The match will be familiar territory for head coach Gene Orlando, who was a graduate of Ball State in 1987. Orlando's alma mater holds a 10-8 edge over the Spartans in the all-time series.