April 13, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team (14-10, 3-5 Big Ten) returns home for their final two home matches of the season. The Spartans look to bounce back from two road losses last weekend at Northwestern and Illinois. This weekend MSU will take on Iowa at noon on Saturday, April 14 and then Nebraska at noon the following day (April 15). Both matches are scheduled to be played at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
Iowa comes into Saturday's match with a 1-17 overall record. The Hawkeyes are 0-7 in Big Ten play, and coming off a 6-1 loss against Purdue. With four matches remaining Iowa looks to improve on their Big Ten record as they face off against MSU and Michigan this weekend. The Hawkeyes beat George Washington at the Tribe Kickoff Tournament 4-2 early in the season for their only win. Two years ago Iowa defeated MSU 5-2 in East Lansing, while the Spartans were able to come back the following year to defeat the Hawkeyes 4-3. Iowa leads the all-time record with the Spartans going 32-26 when facing off against MSU.
Nebraska is currently ranked No. 68 in the nation with a 10-10 overall record and a 3-4 record in the Big Ten. Nebraska is coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Indiana last weekend and will travel to the University of Michigan on Saturday before their Sunday match against the Spartans. After dropping their first three Big Ten matches, the Huskers then won three straight against Penn State, Iowa, and Purdue before their loss to Indiana. All of their losses have come against ranked opponents; however they were able to pick up four wins against ranked opponents as well. The Spartans and Huskers have only faced off against each other twice with both teams coming away with one win. Michigan State won the first match they against Nebraska, a 6-1 win coming in 1994.Nebraska then defeated the Spartans 6-1, two years ago in East Lansing.
Last Time Out
Last weekend the Spartans were on the road facing off against two tough Big Ten opponents. The first match of the weekend was at Northwestern (April 6) where the Spartans fell by a score of 6-1. Northwestern swept in the doubles matches, winning on all courts, and taking the first point of the day. In singles play MSU was able to pick up one point when Ronnie Hulewicz defeated Smith on court three by a score of 7-6 (2). 6-4. Aaron Pfister and Drew Lied were also both able to take their opponents to three sets but neither was able to come up with the victory.
The Spartans returned to action the next day (April 7) as they traveled to Champaign, Ill. to take on the Fighting Illini. Illinois, one of the best teams in the Big Ten, defeated Michigan State coming away with a 6-1 win. In doubles play Aaron Pfister and Drew Lied fell on court one but Harry Jadun and Austin Brooks were able to tie-up the score on court two with a 8-2 win over Guignon and Kopinski. Illinois took the third match and won the point on court three as Hoh and Gosea defeated Doug Zade and Gijs Linders 8-4. Illinois then took the first five singles matches as well before Gijs Linders came up with a win for the Spartans on court six as he defeated Gosea 7-6, 6-2 gaining the only point of the day for MSU.
The Spartans have picked up two weekly Big Ten awards this season with the most recent recipient being Denis Bogatov the week of Jan. 17. The Gurnee, Ill. native notched a 2-0 singles and 2-0 doubles record on Jan. 14 and helped the Spartans sweep their season-opening tripleheader against Bradley, Morehead State and Wright State.
Earlier this season, Aaron Pfister also picked up an individual Big Ten accolade after being crowned the conference's indoor champion in Iowa City back in November 2011. The sophomore went undefeated, posting a perfect 6-0 singles record on his way to winning the title and also advanced to the final round of the Flight A doubles draw during the tournament.
Spartans on the Web
To see all of the latest updates and highlights on the men's tennis team, be sure to `like' their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter @MSU_Tennis.
Michigan State hits the road one last time for their final regular season match. The Spartans will travel to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions at noon on Sunday, April 22. The match will take place at Sarni Tennis Center.