With last season’s 7-0 loss to Wake Forest still fresh in
their minds, the Michigan men’s tennis players had plenty to
prove. As this year’s Wolverines prepared for a visit from
the 33rd-ranked Demon Deacons on Saturday, they knew that every
point would be hotly contested.

Beth Dykstra
Despite a loss from their number one player, Mike Rubin, the Wolverines managed a 7-1 upset over Wake Forest. (BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily)

“I think everybody was real excited going in,”
assistant coach Dan Goldberg said. “Everybody came out and
had that inner-belief they were going to win their match and pull
through.”

The Wolverines’ surprising 6-1 win was fueled by an early
doubles point. Doubles partners Anthony Jackson and Brian Hung
stretched their undefeated streak to four. Junior Vinny Gossain and
freshman Steve Peretz fought through an extremely tight match,
showing great relief as they finished off their opponents from Wake
Forest. The pair provided the second win necessary for the doubles
point and the early lead.

“We played a very good doubles match, it was very
satisfying,” freshman Steve Peretz said. “(Vinny and I)
are building that chemistry, getting much more
comfortable.”

The unranked Jackson didn’t stop there. In the singles
portion, the senior barely allowed No. 77 Andrew Hamer a chance to
stay in the match, defeating him decisively. The 6-0, 6-3 win gives
Jackson a 4-0 record on the dual season.

Junior David Anving prevailed in just his second singles
appearance of the season, beating David Loewenthal 6-1, 6-3.

With three points on the board and four players still playing,
it seemed like Michigan had the game wrapped up. And then
Michigan’s number one player, No. 34 Mike Rubin, fell in
straight sets to Derrick Spice, 7-5, 7-5.

“(Losses) really motivate me to keep pushing because I
hate it,” Rubin said. “I’m not going to (lose)
again, at least not for a while.”

After Rubin lost his match, it was up to one of the three
freshmen remaining on the court to provide the point needed to give
Michigan its fourth win on the season.

Peretz, Ryan Heller and Hung all found themselves locked in
tiebreakers, trying to remain undefeated in their brief collegiate
dual match careers. The pressure to remain perfect rose when Rubin
lost, as their points became more critical, but the three freshmen
stayed zeroed in on their opponents.

“The coaches just tell us to take care of your
court,” Peretz said. “There was a little extra
pressure, but I was just trying to take care of my
court.”

Peretz did just that, pulling off the tie-break win 6-3, 2-6,
6-4. Shortly before Peretz got his win, the crowd on the court
behind him roared. The fans were cheering as Heller finished off
another hard fought match in a 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 win. With the boost
of excitement in the stands, Hung seemed to step up his own energy
level en route to his second super-tie-breaker win in a 6-7(5),
6-3, 10-3 contest.

“Right across the board, after losing the first set in a
number of situations, the guys came back and really fought
hard,” Goldberg said. “That’s been a trademark of
our team all season.”

The Wolverines improved to 4-0 on the dual season. The team will
spend the next two weeks practicing before taking on Toledo at
home.

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