A fist pump and sigh of relief from senior Matko Maravic sealed a weekend in which the captain of the Michigan men’s tennis team led his squad to a solid return after losing to No. 1 Virginia last week.

With the score 3-2 in favor of No. 18 Michigan Sunday against Vanderbilt, Maravic had a feeling his match was taking on a greater importance.

“I felt an energy shift when everyone came over to watch,” Maravic said.

After trading games, Maravic served for the match up 5-4 in the final set against junior Nick Cromydas. After a pause in the action when Cromydas and Vanderbilt coach Ian Duvenhage angrily disputed a call, Maravic served.

“When it happened, I just turned my back,” said Maravic, Michigan’s lone senior. “I knew I had (Michigan coach) Bruce (Berque) waiting on the bench to yell at the ref if anything happened.”

Once the argument ended, Cromydas attempted to return a Maravic backhand. But his racket awkwardly hit the ground. A roar from the crowd and a fist pump from Maravic signaled a Michigan victory.

It sealed a successful weekend for the Wolverines, who defeated the Commodores 5-2 and beat North Carolina State Friday, 6-1.

“Matko sets a great example of how to handle these situations,” Berque said. “He leaves his heart and soul on the court. He has an intangible knack for making clutch shots in key moments.”

Before the dramatics, Michigan began the afternoon with doubles dominance. Maravic and junior George Navas set the tone by dispatching their Vanderbilt competition early with an 8-3 victory. Freshman Jason Jung and sophomore Mike Sroczynski, as well as freshman Chris Madden and Mazlin followed with wins to give the Wolverines the doubles point.

“Overall, we’re playing great doubles,” Berque said. “Our competitiveness has been really good.”

Despite getting off to a fast start against the Commodores, uneven play marred the singles matches. Madden, and Sroczynski lost their first sets, and despite winning his first set, 6-2, Jung lost the second at love.

Michigan then buckled down and stormed back. Junior Peter Aarts won his match in straight sets, and despite a loss from Sroczynski, things looked up when Madden and Maravic won their second sets.

After Maravic clinched the victory, junior Andrew Mazlins won his match to close out an impressive win.

“We’re in the top 20 right now, and I just want to stay focused,” said Maravic. “We just need to keep the attitude up and not think about the ranking.”

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