April 16, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
The Michigan State men's tennis team returns home for the final weekend of regular-season action as it is set to host two ranked Big Ten opponents. The Spartans (9-13, 3-6 Big Ten) host No. 28 Purdue on Friday at 4 p.m. and No. 59 Indiana on Sunday at 12 p.m. The matches will be played at either the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility or the MSU Outdoor Courts, depending upon the weather. Check @MSU_Tennis on Twitter for location updates. Admission is free at either location.
The Spartans are coming off a weekend in which they split their two Big Ten matches. With both matches coming on the road, MSU defeated No. 74 Wisconsin, 4-3, on April 11, and lost to No. 55 Minnesota, 5-2, on April 13.
MSU wraps up its final weekend of conference play at home by hosting two more ranked opponents. MSU will also get to remain at home and enjoy some home-court advantage as it hosts the 2014 Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament on April 24-27. Tournament play will be held at either the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility or the MSU Outdoor Courts. Admission is free during all four days of the tournament. The Spartans are a stellar 8-1 at home this season.
"We want to have a strong finish and make it a good send off for the seniors," head coach Gene Orlando said. "We're looking to prepare for the Big Ten Championships and keeping the dream alive, because anything can happen. We are focusing on finishing strong and putting the program in a better spot. Two quality teams are coming here and it's another opportunity to get some quality wins."
The senior class has tallied a 59-47 (.557) overall record, a 20-24 (.455) Big Ten record and a 41-16 (.719) mark at home. Davis, Lied and Pfister also played key roles in helping MSU reach the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the school's first-ever appearance in the tournament.
Notes from Wisconsin-Minnesota
- Senior co-captain and two-time All-Big Ten selection Aaron Pfister made his return to the lineup last weekend after missing the last four matches due to an injury. Pfister finished the weekend a combined 3-1, winning both of his doubles matches on court three with freshman Brett Forman and splitting his singles matches on court three.
- MSU defeated its third ranked opponent, and its first while on the road, Friday night by winning 4-3 at No. 74 Wisconsin.
- MSU won the doubles point against Wisconsin, marking the 10th time it has done so. MSU is 9-1 (.900) when winning the doubles point.
- Freshman Brett Forman picked up his team-high 12th singles win of the spring with his 6-1, 6-2 win over Wisconsin on court four.
- Sophomore John Patrick Mullane picked up his 10th win of the season and his team-high sixth conference win by defeating Minnesota 6-3, 7-6(3) on court two.
- MSU has four players who have recorded double-digit singles wins this season. The list includes: Forman with 12, and Linders, Mullane and Pfister each with 10. Lied needs just one more victory to become the fifth player on the list.
Academic Excellence Gala
Seven members of the Spartan tennis program were honored April 14, at the annual MSU Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Excellence Gala. Student-athletes with a grade-point average of 3.0 or above were honored.
For the seventh consecutive season, the men's tennis team was also recognized as having the highest cumulative grade-point average among all men's teams on campus. MSU's men's tennis team posts a 3.4 cumulative team grade-point average.
Big Ten Update
MSU currently sits tied for eighth in the conference with a 3-6 record, tied with Nebraska and Indiana. The conference has nine of its 12 teams ranked, including two top-ten teams in No. 1 Ohio State and No. 10 Illinois. Ohio State paces the conference with a 9-0 record.
The Boilermakers own a national ranking of 28th to go along with a 15-4 record. They are 7-2 in the conference action, currently tied for second with Illinois. Friday will be just the sixth true road match of the season for Purdue, as it holds a 3-2 record on courts away from West Lafayette.
In its most recent match, the Boilermakers took top-ranked Ohio State down to the wire, but ended up losing, 4-3. Prior to the loss to Ohio State, Purdue was on an eight-match winning streak.
As a team, Purdue is 38-16 (.704) in singles during Big Ten matches. Purdue has double-digit wins on five of the six singles courts, posting just a 7-9 record on court one. Szymon Tatarczyk has played 11 of the 19 matches on court one, posting a 5-6 record, including 3-6 in conference play.
In doubles, Purdue has two of its tandems nationally ranked. Tatarczyk and Ricky Medinilla are 70th in the country, while Diego Acosta and Aaron Dujovne are No. 85. Tatarczyk and Medinilla own an 8-2 record on court one, and Acosta and Dujovne are 7-6 on court two.
Purdue is 13-0 when winning the doubles point and 2-4 when losing the point this year.
MSU defeated Purdue, 6-1, in the teams' last meeting on March 31, 2013, in West Lafayette, Ind. Pfister, Lied, Mullane, and Jadun all picked up singles wins for the Spartans.
MSU has won the last two meetings overall against Purdue.
Ranked 59th in the country, the Hoosiers own a 15-14 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Big Ten action. MSU is tied for eighth in the conference with the Hoosiers. Indiana has won its last two matches in a row, defeating Penn State and DePauw at home on April 13. The Hoosiers are just 1-7 in away matches this season.
In singles, Indiana is 12-17 (.414) as a team in conference action. Sven Lalic has played 20 of the 29 matches at No. 1 singles and has posted a 6-14 record on that court. Sam Monette, ranked No. 104 nationally, has played primarily on the second court, posting an 11-5 record on that court to go along with a 14-9 overall record.
In doubles, the tandem of Monette and Bednarczyk come in at No. 59 nationally. The duo is 8-3 on court one this season and 9-3 on court two. Indiana is 6-8 (.429) as a team in doubles during conference play.
Indiana defeated MSU, 6-1, in the teams' last meeting on March 29, 2013, in Bloomington, Ind. Linders picked up the one point for MSU.
MSU defeated Indiana, 5-2, in the last meeting in East Lansing, on March 31, 2012.
The Big Ten Tournament April 24-27 is next on MSU's schedule. The tournament will be held in East Lansing.