The trips were far from home, and the Michigan men’s tennis team split up, heading to different parts of the country this past weekend. Such is life when preseason begins on the road.
And while starting with two out-of-state tournaments may seem like a hectic road trip, for Michigan, it’s just what it wanted to prepare its youthful group. The Wolverines sent sophomores Carter Lin and Davis Crocker to California and freshmen Myles Schalet and Gabe Tishman to New Jersey.
The sophomores participated in the Battle of the Bay Invitational, where they faced California and San Diego, among others, and played in both singles and doubles competition.
In doubles action, Lin’s and Crocker’s strong performances propelled them against Southern California, 8-7. Yet Saturday, the Wolverines fell to San Francisco’s Nils Skajaa and Thomas Takemoto in a tightly contested 8-7 loss.
Lin advanced to the semifinals before falling to the Golden Bears’ Flip Bergevi in straight sets. Lin’s other two singles opponents, California’s Oskar Wikberg and San Diego’s Slip Vittek, fell to Lin in two and three sets, respectively.
Opposite Lin was Crocker, who faced difficulty against Wikberg, falling in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-1. The loss put Crocker into a consolation draw, where he found success against Pepperdine’s Stefan Menichella, whom he defeated in straight sets. Crocker, however, bowed out in a three-set match to the Toreros’ James Ponwith.
2,800 miles across the country was the Princeton Invitational, which held the debut of freshmen Myles Schalet and Gabe Tishman, both of whom participated in their first tournaments as Wolverines.
Schalet advanced to the semifinal portion of singles competition after two straight-set victories over Darmouth’s Max Schmidt and Wisconsin’s Lamar Remy. Saturday in his last matchup, a semifinal draw against Cornell’s Colin Sinclair, Schalet fell in three sets, 6-3, 5-7 and 6-3.
Rather than focus on the results of each match, coaches came away pleased by what they saw out of their roster.
“They want to do great things for Michigan, and that’s awesome,” said Michigan associate head coach Sean Maymi. “But we also want them to focus on the right things. So if they start thinking about the result as opposed to the process and how to get that result, they’re gonna have trouble.
“It was good for me to see some of (Schalet’s and Tishman’s) strengths and weaknesses. Both of them did a great job of just competing hard.”