EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men’s tennis team will host a pair of ranked Big Ten opponents in its last two home matches of the season at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts. MSU will host #21 Northwestern on Friday, April 14 at 4 p.m. before welcoming in #28 Illinois on Sunday afternoon, April 16 at noon.
Michigan State is currently 10-13 this season and in search of its first conference win standing at 0-7 in the league. Before this weekend’s action the Spartans have faced six-ranked opponents this season, five of which were in the Big Ten.
Northwestern will enter the weekend ranked #32 in the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings, which is administered by the ITA. Northwestern holds an overall record of 17-7 and a mark of 5-2 in conference action. The Wildcats Strong Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba are ranked #39 and #54 in the singles rankings, while Sam Shropshire and Konrad Zieba are ranked 52nd in doubles and Strong Kirchheimer and Dominik Starý are 57th.
Illinois is currently 12-9 overall and 5-2 in conference action but will have one more match against Michigan before facing off against Michigan State on Sunday, April 16. Illinois is currently ranked 28th in the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings, one spot lower than the previous week and Illinois has been as highly ranked as #20 this spring season.
“Also a welcome back to Brad Dancer, a 1993 MSU tennis alumni, as he begins his 12th season as the head men’s tennis coach at Illinois,” said Orlando.
Junior Brett Forman has been MSU’s primary No. 1 singles player and he is leading the team in victories having picked up 11 this spring season. Forman is coming off of a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles against the Gophers #59 Matic Spec earning the only point in the Spartans 6-1 loss to #32 Minnesota last weekend, April 9.
Junior Michael Dube and sophomore Colin Harvey have recently begun playing No. 1 doubles as a team and have split 1-1 in their last two matches. The duo picked up a 6-4 win over Felix Corwin and Eli Ogilvy of Minnesota in their most recent match.
At the conclusion of the weekend, MSU will have three more matches to round out the regular season. The team will travel to Nebraska on April 21 for a 4 p.m. match at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center. The Spartans will then have a doubleheader on Sunday, April 23 to round out the regular season first traveling to Iowa for a 12 p.m. match before traveling to UIC in Chicago for a 7 p.m. match.