The No. 6 Michigan men's tennis team beat Illinois after a rally in doubles play. Julia Schachinger/Daily. Buy this photo.

For the first time since March 6 against TCU, the No. 6 Michigan men’s tennis team was on the brink of losing the doubles point. The Wolverines, riding a nine-game hot streak, hadn’t felt an ounce of pressure in nearly a month.

But led by graduate student Nick Beaty and senior Patrick Maloney, they overcame it.

On Friday, Michigan (13-2 overall, 3-0 Big Ten) extended its win streak to 10 games with a 4-1 victory over Illinois (7-11, 1-2), but not without some early hiccups during a tense battle for the doubles point.

In doubles play, the No. 6 pairing of senior Andrew Fenty and sophomore Nino Ehrenschneider dominated on the way to a 6-3 win, but their teammates were not as successful. Junior Ondrej Styler and sophomore Gavin Young fell to their opponents, 6-4, and the tandem of Beaty and Maloney trailed by a score of 5-3, on the brink of defeat.

But like so many times before, the Wolverines fought through their adversity. Beaty and Maloney battled back, largely thanks to their play at the net.

After a dominant showing to lessen the deficit to 5-4, the duo was able to break the Fighting Illini, tying the set at five games. Then, with the score tied at 40, Maloney finished off the game with a beautiful volley, putting Michigan up 6-5 and marking a turning point on the day. 

And with their doubles troubles behind them, the Wolverines never looked back.

In singles play, Styler and Young avenged their doubles loss. Styler played in a dominant showing, where he won against Siphosothando Montsi in straight sets, putting Michigan up, 2-0. Styler extended his own win streak to six matches in the process.

Young established a dominant start against Nic Meister in the form of a 6-0 first set victory, but in the second set, he had to battle. Meister began to play with rejuvenation and tied the set at three, but Young rallied and took a 4-3 lead. After winning the instrumental fourth game to take the lead, Young rode his momentum to a 6-3 second-set win, defeating Meister and establishing a 3-0 lead for the Wolverines.

However, it was not a clean sweep for Michigan. Hunter Heck ousted Fenty in two close sets, 6-4. Fenty’s singles loss marked the first time that the Wolverines had given up a point since the victory over TCU.

However, Beaty was able to stop Illinois’ attempted comeback in its tracks. Beaty, once again, played in a tight matchup, winning the first set by a score of 7-5. Fueled by his doubles and first-set successes, Beaty took control in the second set. He soundly defeated his opponent, 6-2, in the second set, winning his ninth consecutive singles match and clinching the 4-1 victory for Michigan.

Like so many times before, the Wolverines’ resiliency and experience shined. They’ll need to maintain it to keep their hot streak alive.