The Michigan men’s tennis team just can’t escape the
injury bug.

The Wolverines (2-4 Big Ten, 11-6 overall) traveled to the
Hoosier State with high hopes this past weekend. But after cruising
past Indiana State 6-1 on Friday, they couldn’t overcome Big
Ten foe Indiana on Saturday. Once again, Michigan was forced to
battle through injuries, succumbing 4-3 to the Hoosiers.

“The key is to find a way to get healthy,” Michigan
coach Mark Mees said.

Junior Michael Rubin had missed matches due to an injured rib
muscle, but had improved enough to return to action two weekends
ago. Unfortunately, the No. 1 singles player re-aggravated the
injury against Indiana State.

Rubin nevertheless decided to give it a go against
Indiana’s Ryan Recht the next day. After being edged out in
the first set 7-6(3), Rubin’s performance slipped. He fell
behind 4-0 before retiring from the match due to injury.

“He was having some problems with it after the match
(against Indiana State),” Mees said. “So we pulled him
out of doubles, and I was hoping that he could get in there and
play some singles.”

With Rubin out of doubles play, junior David Anving was forced
to step up. In his first doubles appearance of the dual-match
season, Anving teamed up with freshman Ryan Heller to take the No.
2 doubles match, 8-6. The Wolverines dropped both of their other
doubles contests, giving Indiana the doubles point — the
eventual margin of victory.

Michigan dropped its first three singles matches, including
Rubin’s loss, to give Indiana (4-2, 10-8) the team victory.
With the outcome decided, Michigan showed a great deal of
resilience wrapping up the remaining individual matches.

After being held out of the Indiana State match with a rotator
cuff injury, freshman Steve Peretz performed well enough to win
6-4, 2-6, 1-0(8). Senior Anthony Jackson followed with a 6-3, 6-4
victory, and freshman Brian Hung came out on top (6-4, 7-6(5)) to
finish.

“We’ve got guys on our team that have got a lot of
pride,” Mees said. “While they are disappointed in the
team loss, they want to take care of their individual
matches.”

The Indiana State match served as an important tune-up for the
Wolverines. They dispatched their hosts, despite having to play
outdoors — a change from the controlled conditions of the
Varsity Tennis Center.

“Getting outside was a little bit different,” Mees
said. “I’m glad we got that match outside, because we
(also) played Indiana outdoors.”

Once again, it was a weekend of mixed results for Michigan. In
the last three weeks, it has lost three Big Ten nail-biters by a
one-point margin. The Wolverines know they can keep up with
anybody, but at some point, the competitiveness must translate to
more wins.

“We’ve got four matches left,” Mees said.
“We’re going to get two days off, get everyone in the
training room, and we’ll be ready to go.”

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