They knew it was going to end sometime, but for the Michigan
men’s tennis team, adding a blemish to its perfect record was
not something it wanted to continue, and made sure to straighten
things out on Sunday.

After opening the season with a perfect 6-0 home stand, the No.
46 Wolverines (7-1) headed south to take on No. 39 Florida State on
Friday. Michigan’s 4-3 loss marked the first scratch on the
team’s record for the dual match season.

“You’re always concerned with how your team is going
to react to that first loss,“ Michigan coach Mark Mees said.
“But this is a pretty resilient bunch of guys, so I had a
pretty good feeling they’d come out and play well
(Sunday).”

The Wolverines bounced back from the loss with a win on Sunday
against Furman (0-6), posting a 5-2 victory to close out the
weekend. The win came despite Michigan dropping its third-straight
doubles point.

“We really had some opportunities to win the doubles
point,” Mees said. “(But) we played a little tight, and
a little tentative, and didn’t get the point.”

Senior Anthony Jackson’s tough times continued Sunday as
he dropped his fourth-straight singles match at No. 2.

“You’re going to go through periods where some
people are playing well and some aren’t,” Mees said.
“We just have to get (Jackson) going.”

Friday’s match was never too far out of Michigan’s
reach. During the doubles portion, the Wolverines looked to have
the point all sewn up, as junior Vinny Gossain and freshman Steve
Peretz won their match, while junior Michael Rubin and freshman
Ryan Heller were up 3-0 in a tie-breaker set. But Florida
State’s Mat Cloer and Jonathas Sucupira stormed back to take
the game 10-6 and the set 9-8.

The Wolverines knew they could win without taking the doubles
point. They had done so just a week prior in a 4-3 over Brown.

Rubin battled with No. 25 Cloer through two ugly singles sets,
but in the end the match went to Cloer, 6-4, 6-4.

“We both struggled,” Rubin said. “I definitely
had a lot of chances and could have played a lot better.”

Continuing the theme of the season, freshmen lent a helping
hand, as first-year players Brian Hung (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) and Heller
(6-7, 6-3, 6-3) each walked away with a point in their matches.

Michigan’s fight to stave off its first loss came down to
Jackson. The first set went to his challenger Jonathas Sucupira in
a 7-6 tie breaker. After a decisive 6-1 victory in the second set,
Jackson appeared to have the momentum he needed to put the final
point on the board. Despite the momentum, Sucupira managed to keep
the third set close. Tied at three, Jackson had his serve broken
and fell behind 5-3 before eventually succumbing to a 6-4 loss.

The matches in Florida marked Michigan’s first outdoor
competition of the season. Getting adjusted to the new surroundings
was made more difficult as rain shortened practice times leading up
to the matches.

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