In their last home matches at the Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday, seniors Gabe Tishman and Myles Schalet made sure to leave their mark for the Wolverines.
The Michigan men’s tennis team (15-6 overall, 6-3 Big Ten) defeated Wisconsin (9-9, 3-5), 5-2, with both Tishman and Schalet winning their respective matches. The seniors also both won their doubles matches, in which Tishman paired up with sophomore Harrison Brown and Schalet with freshman Andrew Fenty.
After the doubles matches, Tishman and Schalet participated in a short ceremony celebrating their four years playing for Michigan. Their career stats were announced and their parents walked with them across the court.
“It’s been an unreal four years,” Schalet said. “It flew by so quickly. The school has given me so many different experiences and it has been the best four years of my life for sure. I have no regrets.”
After the ceremony, the match transitioned to singles play. Tishman played at sixth singles and Schalet at third. Schalet cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory. On match point, after a crosscourt rally, he hit a down-the-line forehand winner that just barely clipped the net. Immediately, Michigan coach Adam Steinberg came out and hugged his senior after he earned his final regular season singles win, 63rd for his career.
“The coaches have taken my teammates and I great places on and off the court and I’m gonna miss these guys more than anything,” Schalet said. “We’re not done, since we have a lot of work to do. But this program has meant everything to me.”
The environment established by Steinberg and the rest of the program contributes to how the entire team plays and even how they act off the court.
“The way we play, we play together as a team so much. We’re not selfish on the court and we’re not selfish on the court,” Schalet said. “(Steinberg) has implemented that mindset to be a better person and I’ve built so many great relationships that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Other victories at singles included a 6-1, 6-1 victory from junior Connor Johnston and Fenty, who won 7-5, 7-6 (5).Tishman won his singles match as well, defeating his opponent, 6-1, 7-5. His win gave the Wolverines their fourth point for the match and sealed the victory for Michigan, showing Tishman’s ability to lead by example as captain of the team, along with Schalet.
“This year we knew we would have our hands full from the beginning, because we graduated four seniors and got four freshman in and the majority of our team is made up of underclassmen,” Tishman said. “I think taking on the role of captain with Myles has taught me a lot. It’s taught me to take the high road sometimes and when to get on some people. But it’s all out of love, and everybody understands that. They’ve been a great team to lead.”
And come next season, Michigan will have to find two other players to replace the leadership of Schalet and Tishman.