In its penultimate match of the fall season, the Michigan men’s tennis team continued its below-average run. Four players travelled to Sarasota, Fla. for the Lakewood Ranch Invite — juniors Harrison Brown and Teddy Oosterban, senior Nick Beaty, and sophomore Ryan Fu — while two went to the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Championship in Lincoln, Neb.
While Brown fared well, making it to quarterfinals, the same could not be said for the other three. Beaty advanced to the Round of 16, only to be felled by Louisville’s Sergio Hernandez Ramirez.
Brown’s weekend started positively with two straight-set wins in both the Round of 32 and the Round of 16. His match-up in quarterfinals was Duke freshman Samuel Rubell, a five-star recruit out of high school, who he lost to in two sets, 6-4, 7-5.
“Harry got to the quarterfinals and beat two good players,” said Michigan coach Adam Steinberg. “He had the best results for us. He’s had a good fall so that was good for him.”
In doubles action, the Wolverines performed worse. The team of Fu and Oosterban lost in the Round of 32, 8-1. The Beaty and Harrison duo made it to the Round of 16, but also lost before meaningful progress could be made.
At the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Championship, the results were surprisingly similar. Senior Connor Johnston also made it to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Northwestern’s Steven Forman.
“Connor did well, and he’s a senior and he expects a lot from himself,” Steinberg said. “He played good tennis and lost a tough one in the quarterfinals.”
In doubles, after losing in the Round of 16, the Johnston and Kistopher team played well in the consolation bracket, winning 6-4 over a pair from Wisconsin.
While Michigan couldn’t pull off more than a few individual highs, Steinberg came away feeling positive about both matches. The Wolverines continue to play on through tough matches, hoping to come away with wins.
“Even when we only bring four players, the guys have to understand that they still have a responsibility to support each other and play together no matter what,” Steinberg said. “They did that in Florida for sure. They were amazing, all four of them.”
That’s what Steinberg calls “The Michigan Way” — enthusiasm and intensity in the face of tough opponents.
“We’re getting there, we’re slowly improving each time,” Steinberg said. “We have to play no matter where we’re playing, who we’re playing. We have to play as a team, we have to come together.”