Jason Jung and Mike Sroczynski were desperate to make it back to the finals.
After falling to Ohio State in the last round of the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Tournament last season, Jung and Sroczynski were eager to win this time around.
Their semifinal match was knotted at 8-8, before the duo blew out the Buckeyes 7-2 in the tiebreaker and returned to the finals for the second straight year.
“Mike and I had a lot of confidence after the semifinals,” Jung said. “We were going into the finals knowing we were playing really well.”
After the close win, the No. 18 doubles team was ready to redeem itself from last year’s disappointing loss in the finals, and earn a spot in next month’s Indoor Championships.
In the first game against Austen and Simon Childs (Louisville), Jung and Sroczynski broke their opponents’ serve and knew the match was theirs for the taking.
An ace from Jung completed the 8-4 upset and sealed the duo’s ticket to Charlottesville, Va. for the Indoor Championships.
“The level of play was very high in both matches,” Michigan coach Bruce Berque said. “In the tiebreaker, Mike and Jason really brought their game to another level and they really played flawless tennis.”
After a difficult loss last week in the semifinals of the D’Novo ITA All-American Championships in which Jung and Sroczynski had trouble communicating and keeping their emotions in check, the two benefited from a quick turnaround.
“The first match we played (at Ohio) felt a little different,” Jung said. “One thing that changed was when one of us missed an easy shot, we wouldn’t look disgusted. We just encouraged one another.”
Jung and Sroczynski weren’t the only Wolverines with success last weekend weekend. Redshirt freshman Drew Daniel, who came into Michigan as one of the top juniors in the country, qualified for the first tournament main draw of his career, finishing with a 3-2 record on the weekend.
But no other Wolverines made it past the qualifying rounds to the main draw.
“They didn’t play well at all,” Berque said. “They just fell short, didn’t play with enough energy, got a bad start and the other team got on top of them and they had a difficult time recovering.”
But while many of their teammates struggled, Jung and Sroczynski excelled, and the duo is now headed to Virginia next month to compete on the national stage.