April 1, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team continues its conference schedule this weekend as it plays host to Minnesota on Saturday, April 2 at 12 p.m., and Wisconsin on Sunday, April 3 at 12 p.m. The Spartans are now 13-4 on the season and 0-3 in conference play.
Scouting the Spartans
The Spartans enter the weekend with a 13-4 record and are ranked No. 53 in the ITA weekly polls, marking their eighth-consecutive week in the rankings. MSU has two wins against ranked opponents, with victories at home against then ranked No. 21 Wake Forest and at then ranked No. 47 DePaul, while all four of their losses have come against ranked foes.
Freshman Aaron Pfister has been a bright spot for the Spartans, going a perfect 14-0 in singles dual matches this season, while adding seven victories in doubles play. In the No. 1 position, sophomore Denis Bogatov has posted an 8-4 record in singles play, including a win over 63rd ranked Jonathon Wolff of Wake Forest. Juniors Ron Hulewicz and Austin Brooks have also been consistent in the No. 2 and 3 spots, posting a combined 17-8 record.
In doubles play, seniors John Stratton and Jason Norville have paired for a 7-4 record at the No. 1 position. Freshman Drew Lied has been versatile for the Spartans in doubles matches, posting a combined 6-2 record with three different teammates.
The Golden Gophers of Minnesota enter weekend competition with an 11-2 record and a No. 24 ranking in the ITA polls. On the year, Minnesota is an impressive 5-2 record vs. ranked opponents. Sophomore Rok Bonin has represented the Gophers at the No. 1 singles position, posting a 7-6 record and adding an additional six combined wins in the first and second doubles slots. Senior Tobias Wernet has a combined 9-3 record thoughout the top of the singles lineup.
Wisconsin begins weekend action with a 7-8 overall record and 1-1 in conference play. The Badgers have endured a daunting schedule, with all eight losses coming to ranked opponents. Senior Marek Michalicka has been a bright spot for the Badgers at No. 1 singles, posting a 10-4 record with five of those wins coming against ranked singles opponents. Michalicka has paired with sophomore Billy Bertha as the 78th ranked doubles pair, and earning a 10-2 record at the No. 1 position.
Last Year vs. Opponents
MSU fell to the Badgers last year, 6-1, and was defeated by Minnesota, 5-2. Sophomore Denis Bogatov earned the point for the Spartans against Wisconsin, defeating Patrick Pohlman, 7-5, 6-4, in No. 3 singles. Bogatov also earned a point vs. the Gophers at No. 3 singles, taking down Bilankov, 6-1, 6-3. Senior Jason Norville earned the second point in the No. 4 position, defeating Arndt, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-6).
The Spartans travel to Kalamazoo to take on the Broncos of Western Michigan in a mid-week match on Wednesday, April 6 at 3 p.m. MSU then continues conference action with weekend matches vs. Ohio State on Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m., and Penn State on Sunday, April 10 at 12 p.m.