With a record of 3-0, Michigan men”s tennis team didn”t really seem to need any extra boost. Yesterday against Louisiana-Lafayette, the Wolverines got one anyway.

Michigan”s Ben Cox was absent from the two matches prior to yesterday”s due to what coach Mark Mees referred to as a “team situation.”

Against the Cajuns, Cox came back with a vengeance.

He appeared to show a little bit of rust at the beginning of his doubles match with partner Anthony Jackson. That took all of about three minutes to wear off.

The Wolverines” No. 2 player deoxidized pretty quickly, looking strong through the remainder of the match and teaming with Jackson to defeat Louisiana”s duo of Bruno Puzzi and Bobby Hawkins, 8-6.

“Today he played with energy and concentration, and when he does that, he brings a lot to the No. 2 spot,” Mees said.

That energy and concentration only increased as Cox went into his singles match against the Cajuns” Jakub Ilowski.

Cox came out swinging, and pounded Ilowski into submission early.

“I just jumped on top of him early and kept on top,” said Cox.

He concentrates on getting an early edge on his opponents, hoping to break their confidence and positioning himself for a relatively painless win. Ilowski was not able to recover from Cox”s opening salvo, dropping the match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.

“Some guys, you can see, once you get them down one set they pretty much throw it in,” Cox explained.

The Wolverines dominated the majority of the matches, with the No. 2 through No. 5 singles matches all being clinched in straight sets. There wasn”t much tension surrounding the outcome, as the deep Michigan squad outperformed the young Cajuns” team that includes five freshmen.

Although the Wolverines beat Louisiana-Lafayette by the same 5-2 margin last year, that match was much more of a battle. Cox expressed some suprise at yesterday”s comfortable victory.

“Every match went right down to the end last year,” Cox said.

Maybe the Cajuns who seemed a little bit bewildered by the cold white stuff that carpeted the ground yesterday outside the Varsity Tennis Center had some trouble adjusting to their surroundings in Ann Arbor.

The only losses for Michigan came from No. 6 player Chris Shaya and top player Henry Beam.

The doubles team of Shaya and Beam also dropped its match to the Cajuns top tandem of Jason Pieters and Jakub Ilowski, 8-6.

Although Beam”s blistering serve was on target in his singles match, he seemed to lose his edge after winning the first set against Pieters, 6-4.

Beam was up 5-3 in the second set, but Pieters refused to throw in the towel. The second and third sets ended in hotly contested tiebreakers as Pieters fought his way to the victory, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(15-13).

Not that Beam wilted either his bloodied and blistered hand had to be taped in the middle of the match, but he didn”t allow that to effect the velocity of his serves.

Like Cox, the Wolverines have come charging out of the gates this season, improving their record to 4-0 with yesterday”s win.

If they can emulate the killer instinct Cox showed against his Louisiana opponents and continue at their present clip, a successful Big Ten season could be on the horizon for Michigan.

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