Freshmen played a key role in Michigan's win over Brown. Grace Lahti/Daily. Buy this photo.

The No. 5 Michigan men’s tennis team won handily over Brown thanks to underclassmen success in both doubles and singles matches. Freshman Nicholas Steiglehner and sophomore Will Cooksey made up the No. 3 doubles pair, and their consistent dominance led to a 6-2 resulting in the Wolverines claiming the doubles point.

Both Steiglehner and Cooksey showcased impressive technique, beating the Bears at the net and in the far court. The pair’s endurance also shone in their win, as they only gave up two games to Brown. Their 6-2 win drew Michigan closer to the doubles point.

Steiglehner’s success in his doubles match carried into his No. 6 singles match, where he defeated his opponent in two sets, winning 6-0 and 6-1. Throughout his match, he maintained the endurance exhibited in his doubles win, with long, dominant rallies keying his victory.

“I had a lot of energy and I felt really confident going (into the singles match) after that (doubles match),” Steiglehner said. “I felt like that energy continued into singles. (I felt) really good starting singles.”

Freshman Bjorn Swenson also saw success in his No. 5 singles match. He won both sets, 6-3, and used tactical strategies throughout his match. Up 3-1 in the first set, Swenson had to fight off his opponent’s attempted comeback, but he relied on his deep skillset to emerge victorious.

His lead waned at the start of the second set, where he found himself in an early 2-1 deficit. The setback, however, had little effect on his overall performance, as his mindset revolved around maintaining the energy with which he had hoped to start. 

“I wanted to get off to a good start and bring a lot of energy just to show my opponent that I was there to play and to compete,” Swenson said.

The early success of the underclassmen in both doubles and singles translated into success throughout the team as the Wolverines finished off their 4-0 win.

“Our goal for today (was) that everyone (got) the chance to play,” Michigan coach Adam Steinberg said. “Everyone gets to prove themselves (and) they’ve been working so hard (in) practice (so they’re) gonna get an opportunity.”

By getting that opportunity, the underclassmen find room for development within the program. Their potential hints at opportunities for continued success.

“The biggest strength of our team is the depth of our team,” Steinberg said. “It’s the deepest team I’ve ever coached in all my years, and I can say that unequivocally.” 

When that depth comes from freshmen talent, Michigan’s future looks to be in good hands.