With the season getting underway, the Michigan men’s tennis team is looking to build on its strong 2006-07 campaign.
Last season, the Wolverines posted a 20-7 record en route to a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has eight returning players, including lone senior Matko Maravic. Maravic, Michigan’s Most Valuable Player for the past three years, is coming off a career season in which he was selected as an International Tennis Association All-American in doubles. In addition to being Michigan’s first All-American since Dan Brakus in 1994, Maravic also served his way to Michigan’s first Big Ten Singles title in 10 years.
Rewarded for his stellar year, Maravic will begin the season ranked No. 21 in the nation. He is the first player under Michigan coach Bruce Berque to crack the top 25.
But for the Croatia native, his personal accomplishments and the team’s success are one in the same.
“We have progressed every year since my freshman season,” Maravic said. “One of my personal goals this year is to take this team one step further and reach the round of 16 (in the NCAA Tournament).”
Michigan has not advanced past the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 19 years, but it has its strongest incoming recruits in recent seasons.
Jason Jung highlights the impressive class, which features two top-10 nationally ranked juniors. Jung, who was a blue-chip recruit and at one point No. 1 in tennisrecruiting.net’s rankings, won the International Federation Hong Kong Open when he was just 14 year old.
Through early practices, Jung is already earning praise from his captain.
“In addition to pushing hard in practice, Jason hits the weight room on off-days,” Maravic said. “He is very determined and has the potential to be a great (collegiate) player.”
Joining Jung are Bloomfield Hills native David Streeter, a 2006 United States Tennis Association Midwest Indoor champion, and fellow Californian Christopher Madden, who was ranked as high as No. 9 nationally.
Sophomore George Navas said that the transition from playing USTA tournaments in high school to playing college tennis will be a big change for the freshmen, but the former Florida state junior singles champion is confident they can positively contribute to the team this year.
In his first season as a Wolverine, after a successful junior tennis career, Navas posted a winning record last season. He expects to have an even better upcoming year.
“I loved every second of last season,” Navas said. “I’ve learned a lot from the experience I had as a freshman and am ready to step up for this team.”