BY ALEX STEINHOFF
Daily Sports Writer
Published March 27, 2011
Last weekend brought different fortunes for the Michigan men’s tennis team in the Hoosier State. On Friday, the Wolverines crushed Purdue. But on Sunday, the Wolverines were beaten by Indiana. The two matches closed out Michigan’s four-match road trip with a 2-2 record.
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Soon after Michigan’s No. 3 doubles pair of senior Chris Madden and freshman Barrett Franks beat Aaron Dujovne and Mark Kovacs, 8-3, senior Jason Jung and freshman Shaun Bernstein won at No. 1 doubles by the same score, clinching the doubles point for the Wolverines over the Boilermakers. The No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Evan King and freshman Alex Buzzi won, 8-5, giving Michigan its first doubles sweep of the season.
The Wolverines’ successful doubles play translated directly to their singles play.
Jung started fast and beat Krisztian Krocsko handily at No. 2 singles. Jung exploded with a 5-0 lead in the first set in just thirty minutes and never looked back. His win catapulted the Wolverines to a 2-0 lead in the dual.
King's finish followed Jung’s and King won, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1 singles. The win extended King’s 11-match streak and pushed his record to 13-1 at No. 1. The Wolverine is currently ranked No. 20 in the country, and continues to impress.
“As he is starting to win more and more, his confidence is growing,” Michigan coach Bruce Berque said. “When in tight situations, he is staying calm and learning how to pull through them. This weekend, he played smart and extremely well in both matches.”
At No. 4 singles, Franks defeated Eric Ramos in three sets and clinched the dual match for the Wolverines. Michigan was the better team in the remaining three matches, as Bernstein and Madden notched wins at No. 3 and No. 6, respectively, while freshman Justin Rossi fell at No. 5.
It was Madden's first singles victory of the season — one much needed for the two-time Michigan MVP.
“It’s not always just about our guy and he has played so much different based on who we were playing, but he is slowly getting better and better,” Berque said. “It was really good for him to get that win and any time you can get a win, it really helps your confidence.”
On Sunday, Indiana flipped the Wolverines’ Friday results in doubles, sweeping them easily. Michigan’s No. 1 doubles pair of King and Jung was the first to lose, followed by No. 2 doubles, Bernstein and Cha, and No. 3 doubles, Franks and Madden.
“The biggest difference, with no disrespect to Purdue, was that (Indiana) was stronger,” Berque said. “They were better in doubles today for sure, but on more than one occasion our execution fell off later in the match and we got a little tentative late in those matches.”
Indiana carried its momentum into singles, as No. 5 singles Isade Juneau defeated the Wolverine Rossi, 6-3, 6-3, extending the Hoosiers' lead to two. But almost directly after the loss, Cha beat Stephen Vogl, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6 singles.
After Cha cut Indiana’s lead, Franks fell to Claes Goransson, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 4 singles. The loss was Franks’ fourth singles loss this season at No. 4, but he still holds a stellar 7-2 record at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
Indiana needed just one of the remaining three matches to clinch the dual and upset Michigan. Jung responded to the pressure and sent his match at No. 2 singles into a third set, hoping to spark a comeback.
But it wasn't enough, as Bernstein couldn't do the same at No. 3 singles. Leading 5-4 in the second set, Bernstein dropped three-consecutive games to lose the set, 7-5, and the match, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 3 singles.
Indiana’s win clinched the upset for the Hoosiers. Despite not affecting the outcome of the dual, King won at No. 1 singles to extend his singles win streak to 12 straight. Jung also won his match at No. 2 in three sets.
For Michigan, the bittersweet weekend ended a long road trip that will be followed by two consecutive home matches this weekend against Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“Now I feel like we’re building it back up and we’re all pretty clear on how to approach the rest of the season,” Berque said. “We were disappointed in today, but I thought we could’ve played a lot better.”
“A lot of times, you have to lose to learn the lessons you need to learn.”