Since last year’s match against Indiana State ended in a sweep by the Sycamores, the Michigan men’s tennis team wanted to come back with a vengeance, and it did. Yesterday, the Wolverines got their revenge, 4-3, at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Although Michigan lost the doubles point, each match provided more experience for the newly-changed pairs. The coaching staff changed the doubles roster last weekend for the games against Iowa and Minnesota.
The freshly paired duo of sophomore Michael Rubin and junior Anthony Jackson provided an engaging match, battling Indiana State’s Henry Choi and David O’Connell. Michigan was behind 7-5 in the match and could not find a chance for a comeback. Rubin and Jackson eventually crumbled in a tiebreaker at 9-8.
“I felt that I did some good things out there today, and I feel that Anthony did some good things,” Rubin said. “It was a tight match, and I think we should have won, but at the same time, we are getting better, which is the main goal.”
The other two doubles teams also played close games, but eventually ended in defeats by Indiana State.
“Anytime you are playing with a new partner you are both really excited,” Rubin said.
Despite the upset in doubles, Michigan clinched the event in singles matches. Rubin played an excellent singles match, dominating Indiana State’s Verdan Vidovic 6-3, 6-3. Throughout the match, Vidovic was openly rattled and uneasy, which pushed him to make mistakes. Rubin maintained his composure and was able to silently secure the game.
“I just started executing well, and I began to like how the points were playing out,” Rubin said.
Jackson was one of the last matches of the day, which added to the suspense. Ending in a Michigan victory, spectators cheered and encouraged Jackson in his fight against Henry Choi. The first set showed a calm, relaxed Jackson. But the third set brought some suprises. Jackson broke Choi at 3-1, bringing the score to 4-1. Choi came back to break Jackson’s serve at 4-3, which disturbed Jackson’s momentum somewhat.
“I got a little passive and hoped that he was going to make mistakes to give me the match,” Jackson said. “But that wasn’t going to happen.”
Choi’s efforts in the last set were not enough to give him the game. Jackson raised the his intensity and was ultimately triumphant over Choi, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Sophomore Vinny Gossain also played a strong singles match. This singles season has been rocky for Gossain, but yesterday’s match helped shift the tides.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to win matches this season, and I’ve come up short,” Gossain said. “So this game I told myself to go out relaxed and have fun and see what happens.”
Gossain was able to secure a solid win over Ionut Hurduc in two straight, 6-2, 6-3.
“I started moving my feet a little bit and looking for forehands and putting them to the court,” Gossain said. “The last game was probably the longest four points of my life.”