Feb. 21, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team hits the road again this weekend as it looks to rebound after a pair of tough losses to two ranked opponents last weekend in Virginia. The Spartans open the doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Muncie, Ind., where they will face the Ball State Cardinals at 1 p.m. The team will then travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., for an evening match at 7 p.m. against IPFW. The Spartans enter the weekend with a 4-6 mark and a No. 50 ranking in the latest ITA polls.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Ball State enters the match with a 6-3 record, and will face its fourth Big Ten team of the season as they host MSU. The Cardinals are a combined 0-3 against Big Ten opponents so far, with losses to No. 33 Northwestern (1-6), No. 19 Illinois (3-4), and No. 32 Indiana (1-6). Senior Dalton Albertin has led the way for the Cardinals, posting a 5-3 mark in singles play at the No. 1, 2 and 3 positions. Sophomore Ray Leonard has played four matches at the No. 1 singles spot, posting a 2-2 record. Albertin and Leonard have combined to form the No. 1 doubles team, recording a 2-1 mark (three unfinished matches).
The Spartans hosted Ball State last season where MSU came away with the 7-0 victory.
A GLANCE AT IPFW
The Mastadons enter the weekend with a 3-7 record in dual matches. Junior Daniel Kang has represented IPFW at the No. 1 spot, posting a 3-6 record in singles play and a 5-3 mark in doubles play with partner Joao Freitas. Sophomore Connor Andrews has played primarily at No.2 singles, posting a 4-5 record. Andrews pairs with Martin Muadi at No. 2 doubles, where they have recorded a 5-4 mark in dual matches. Senior Denis Bogatov and sophomore Harry Jadun faced the doubles team of Joao Freitas and Daniel Kang of IPFW at the ITA regional tournament. MSU took home an 8-5 victory in the match.
IPFW faced Ball State on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and fell 5-2. The Mastadons will face University of Illinois-Chicago on Saturday before hosting the Spartans.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans were defeated in both of their matches last weekend in Virginia, falling to No. 30 Virginia Commonwealth 5-0, and the 46th ranked Hokies of Virginia Tech, 5-2.
MSU faced the Rams of VCU on Friday, earning a victory at No. 2 doubles before falling at No. 1 and 3. Sophomores Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun topped Michael Voscek and Max Wennakoski 9-7, but the Spartans were unable to take another match to seal the doubles point. VCU built off the momentum and took the first four singles matches to earn the 5-0 victory.
MSU then traveled to Blacksburg, Va., on Sunday to conclude the weekend against Virginia Tech. After falling in doubles play, MSU rebounded to gain two victories in singles at the No. 4 and 5 positions. Freshman JP Mullane and senior Denis Bogatov earned the victories for the Spartans, but the late rally was not enough. After being tied 2-2, VT took the next three singles matches to seal the victory, 5-2.
The Spartans will hit the road again to face the Broncos of Western Michigan on Friday, March 8 at 1 p.m.