Two hundred and forty seven miles separated them, but the Michigan men’s tennis team’s players in Kalamazoo and Madison shared one goal: they wanted to win.
In Madison, six Wolverines headed to the courts at Nielsen Tennis Stadium to compete in the Big Ten singles championship Saturday. Senior Peter Aarts made it farthest in the tournament.
And almost 250 miles to the southeast, six more players participated in the Western Michigan Invitational in Kalamazoo. Senior Mike DePietro and sophomore David Streeter teamed up for doubles action, and they lost 8-2 to the Western Michigan doubles team of Kevin Hayward and Zeyad Montesser in their first match of the tournament Saturday.
But while none of the Wolverines achieved a great victory over the weekend, there were solid match play and valuable learning experience.
“Any time we take the guys to a tournament, we hope they can do well and win the tournament,” Michigan assistant coach Sean Maymi said. “I think we had a couple of players who were capable. We had some good matches.”
Aarts tallied two wins in Madison, propelling him to the third round of the tournament, where he lost to Purdue’s Slavko Bijelica in straight sets. Redshirt sophomore Drew Daniel and juniors Matt Parks and George Navas all lost in the first rounds of the main draw but found success in the consolation round. Navas went on to win three matches and will play in the consolation final today.
“I am trying to make progress with my game and get ready for the season when it counts,” Navas said.
And that’s exactly what the Wolverines want to see in these fall tournaments.
Meanwhile, in the nonscoring meet in Kalamazoo, DePietro and Streeter went on to beat doubles squads from Indiana and Bradley finished fifth in the doubles draw for the weekend.
“I don’t think we could say we were happy with it,” DePietro said. “Whenever any of us go into something, whether it’s doubles or singles, we want to win it. … We would have liked to be a little more aggressive in the first match, but there was nothing we could do about it after.”
Both DePietro and Streeter played singles on Sunday, both winning their first matches and losing in their second round.
“We certainly leaned a lot from the experience,” DePietro said. “(In) the first match, we didn’t play our best but the mistakes we had in that match, we corrected in the next two. We were a lot more aggressive and that worked out well for us.”