March 21, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 52 Michigan State Spartans will continue their conference season this weekend when they host the 61st ranked Gophers of Minnesota on Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. and the No. 64 Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday at 12 p.m. The Spartans are entering the weekend with a 6-8 overall record and are 0-1 in conference play.
MATCHING UP AGAINST MINNESOTA
The Gophers enter the weekend with a 4-8 record and are 0-1 in the conference, with a 4-3 loss to Wisconsin. Minnesota has tested itself early and often out of the Big Ten, facing an impressive ten ranked opponents, four of which currently sit in the top 30. Despite a losing record, the Gophers have fought nearly every opponent to the last point, with seven of their matches ending in 4-3 scores.
Senior Rok Bonin has led the way for the Gophers at No.1 singles, posting an 8-3 record in dual matches. Bonin has paired with sophomore Mathieu Froment at No. 1 doubles to post a 5-4 record. Bonin currently sits at No. 36 in the national ITA singles rankings, while Leandro Toledo ranks No. 102.
The Gophers will travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan on March 24 at 12 p.m. ET
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
Entering the match against the Spartans with a 10-2 record, the Badgers are looking to improve their conference mark with matches against both MSU and Michigan this weekend. In their three ranked matches of the season, Wisconsin is 1-2 with a victory over Minnesota and losses to No. 27 Notre Dame and No. 15 Clemson.
In the No. 1 singles position, senior Billy Bertha has gone 4-7 in dual matches. He has paired with senior Alex Kostanov, junior Alex Robles, and freshman Oskar Wikberg to post a combined 6-4 record in doubles matches.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans kicked off the conference dual season last weekend at home when they hosted the 31st ranked Wolverines of Michigan. It was a back and forth match, with the Green and White taking the early lead with the doubles point and both schools trading singles points to tie the match at 3-3.
For the second time in as many contests, the match came down to the final competition in the No. 2 spot. Despite a great effort and a 7-6 victory in the second set, junior Drew Lied fell to Vlad Stefan 6-2, 7-6, 6-1 to give the Wolverines the victory.
NEXT TIME UP
The Spartans will hit the road next weekend for a pair of conference matches in Indiana, as they travel to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers on Friday, March 29 at 12 p.m. ET before traveling to West Lafayette on Sunday, March 31 to face Purdue at 12 p.m. ET