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Michigan State Men's Tennis Takes On Memphis At Home Friday

Feb. 15, 2018

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men’s tennis will host the Memphis Tigers on Friday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility, the lone dual of the weekend and fourth of a six-match homestand.

Last weekend, the Spartans (4-6) competed in three home duals starting with a 5-2 loss against Western Michigan on Friday, Feb. 9. MSU then split a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 11, dropping 4-1 against Harvard before clinching a huge win over Niagara, 7-0. Five Spartans took the Crimson to a third set in the first dual of the day, and held Niagara to just one set win in singles in the second.

On the keys to success against Memphis…
The keys to success are good starts in doubles and to continue to play the way we’ve been playing, putting ourselves in a good position in each match. Obviously, Memphis is a very good team. They have a high skill level. We just need to take it one point at a time, making the match go longer and longer. If we do that, then I think we’ll be in a position to win.

On the team’s improvement over the spring season…
Their competitiveness and ability to play with every team that we play, raising their level of play with their opponent and staying in the fight has been the biggest thing that I’ve seen from them. It’s been a steady improvement. Obviously, we’ve taken some losses to some good teams, but we’ve been right there and if we can stay the distance in the matches, we have a chance to win.

On what the team needs to do to be successful against Memphis…
If we stick together as a team, that’s the biggest thing. Every team we’ve played, we’ve been tight with. If we stay mentally positive and come together as a team with every cylinder firing, I think we can come out and take care of them for sure. It’s been a good week of practice, for sure, but it all comes down to us being a team throughout the whole week and coming together Friday. Every guy at every position needs to be ready to play.

On being a part of this year’s team…
This year I think we have a really different dynamic for every class. Every class brings a different vibe or personality, and the way we mesh together makes things more fun. Coach Harry brings some games called mini-games, and we have so much fun with them. That’s a ton of fun, and we love doing that stuff together.

The Tigers started the 2017-18 season with an ITA-ranked doubles team of senior Kai Lemke and redshirt sophomore Matt Story. The No. 3-seeded pair made it to the ITA Ohio Valley Regional semi-finals, falling short to Vanderbilt to end their fall season. The team also welcomes back senior Andrew Watson who trained in the UK and competed in the ITF Futures circuit during the fall semester.

Memphis owns a 4-2 record in spring competition so far, and is currently on a two-match win streak. In their last time out, the Tigers downed Cornell (4-0) and Penn State (4-1) on Feb. 9-10 in Ithaca, New York. The Spartans and Tigers have met six times in program history, all in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis currently holds a 6-0 advantage over Michigan State, with the last meeting during the 2016-17 season when the Spartans fell 7-0.

Michigan State will host another pair of duals on Saturday, Feb. 24. The Spartans will battle Ball State at 10 a.m. and Detroit Mercy at 6 p.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.



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