The Michigan men’s tennis team sat down for breakfast at 7:40 a.m.
It sat down for dinner at 10:00 p.m.
And in the 14 hours between those meals, the 16th-ranked Wolverines feasted on two foes.
Michigan (2-0) bested both Western Michigan (3-1) and Ball State (1-2) 6-1 in a strenuous and lengthy doubleheader at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Wolverines outworked their opponents in both contests and played their most inspired tennis in a sweep of the doubles matches against Ball State.
“We saw it fit to come out focused and take care of business so you don’t find yourself playing a long match late into the night when you’ve already been here for four hours,” senior co-captain Peter Aarts said.
Aarts’ singles match was anything but long as Ball State’s Kevin Hayward never broke serve. The Michigan captain’s long arms delivered numerous aces, and his tall frame seemingly glided across the court to return difficult shots. He claimed a decisive 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles.
Sophomores Chris Madden and Jason Jung competed in doubles and singles matches in both contests and were victorious in all four showings. Jung had a painful grimace on his face for much of his last match against Ball State as his exhausted legs began to cramp. Despite the discomfort, he cruised to a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles.
“After the first set, it kind of affected me a little bit because I didn’t really want to be out there,” Jung said. “It was a long day, I wanted to get out. My mind wasn’t quite there at times.”
Michigan coach Bruce Berque sent a trainer to stretch Jung before his sixth and final set of the day.
“In football or basketball, if someone’s cramping up, you take a timeout, you substitute, and you bring him back out when he’s ready,” Berque said. “In tennis, you can’t afford to do that. You’re not allowed to do it.”
Jung was not the only Wolverine to turn in a gutsy performance Saturday. In the early contest against Western Michigan, redshirt freshman Drew Daniel appeared outmatched after losing his first set at No. 6 singles. But he battled back and won the next two sets behind an uncharacteristically vocal crowd. Daniel took the last four games of the final set, earning him a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.
“It’s important that he gets off to a good start because he can help the team a lot,” Aarts said of Daniel. “He’s been a little up and down the past couple months, but I think he’s got his head right now.”