Men's Tennis Looks to Bounce Back at Harvard
March 7, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
The Michigan State men's tennis team will look to rebound from a tough Big Ten loss to Michigan on Feb. 28 when it heads to Boston, Mass., to take on 33rd- ranked Harvard on Saturday. Play is set to begin at 12 p.m. inside the Murr Center.
After losing the doubles point, MSU rallied to win three singles matches, but could not come up with a fourth singles win, and MSU fell to U-M by a final of 4-3. For the second time this season, MSU lost to a ranked opponent by just a single point (Feb. 16 vs. No. 34 Tulsa). MSU is still seeking its first win this season over a ranked opponent.
"The guys played well and competed hard," head coach Gene Orlando said. "I like how we played, unfortunately it just didn't go our way. It was a heck of a match but we've got to move on. We know our time is coming. We are keeping the mindset that we're doing all the right things."
The loss dropped MSU to 5-6 overall and 0-1 in conference play. MSU has lost its last three of four matches.
When it lost the doubles point to U-M, it was the fifth time this season MSU has not won the initial point. MSU is 0-5 when losing the doubles point.
MSU's team singles record this spring is 37-22, which is good for second-best in the conference when using the established criterion. No. 31 Penn State is 50-14.
MSU's team doubles record is 17-12, which is third best in the conference when using the criterion.
The Crimson have had strong singles play on courts one and five, going 6-1 and 7-3, respectively, on those courts. Denis Nguyen is 5-1 on the top court, while three different players have contributed to the 7-3 mark on the fifth court. Nguyen is also ranked No. 39 in the nation in singles. Sebastian Beltrame is ranked No. 106 nationally in singles and has a 3-5 dual record this spring. As a team, Harvard is 25-24 in singles in spring play, going just 2-5 on court two and 1-8 on court three.
In doubles, Nguyen and Casey MacMaster are 5-4 on the top court. The duo is ranked nationally in doubles, coming in at No. 13. As a team, Harvard is 6-4 on courts one and two but just 3-6 on court three, good for a 15-14 overall tally.
"This is exactly what we wanted," Orlando said. "Another opportunity against a ranked team. We're right there, we might have fallen out of the rankings, but we're right there. We're going to make that break through."
Lied-ing with a Pfist
Lied is 7-3 overall, including 2-1 on court two and 5-2 on court one. Lied has won his last two matches and has played his last six matches on court one.
Pfister is 7-4 overall, including 1-3 on court one and 6-1 on court two. Pfister has won his last two matches and five of his last six. He has played his last six matches on court two.
"Those two have really helped take this program to this level where we are," Orlando said. "When they first came in, we weren't at that level. We had great seniors when they were freshmen, who helped them grow as young players. They blossomed and continued to grow each year. They continue to elevate their games. They have a love for the game and competing."
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