Michigan Drops Razor-Close Decision to No. 5 Texas

Jan. 22, 2011

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #5 Texas 4, #25 Michigan 3
Records: Michigan (1-1), Texas (3-0)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Jan. 28 -- at Duke (Durham, N.C.), 10 a.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In front of a record crowd at the Varsity Tennis Center, the No. 25-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team saw its comeback fall just short against No. 5 Texas, losing, 4-3, on Saturday night (Jan. 22) at the Varsity Tennis Center. A total number of 687 people saw the match, breaking the facility record of 551, set March 7, 2009, against Wake Forest.

Texas captured the doubles point by winning on all three courts. Up 1-0, the Wolverines attempted to rally in singles behind the energized crowd. Senior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance), sophomore Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and freshman Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') each jumped on their opponents and took the first set, giving Michigan some momentum.

Franks got Michigan on the board first with a win at No. 6 over Sudanwa Sitaram (Texas), 6-1, 6-3. The Longhorns won the next two matches, at Nos. 3 and 4, to take a 3-1 lead, but the Wolverines once again responded. Jung, the No. 35-ranked singles player in the country, got the Wolverines' second point after knocking off Jean Andersen (Texas) at No. 2, 6-3, 6-2. King followed just minutes later with a victory at No. 1 over Ed Corrie (Texas), 6-1, 6-3.

Tied at 3-3, the match came down to freshman Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and No. 100 Ben Chen (Texas), who had just begun their third set when the score was tied. Bernstein served first but was broken by Chen, who won the second game. However, Bernstein answered in the third, and trailed 2-1 in the final set of the match. Chen held serve and broke Bernstein in the next game to go up 4-1, but Bernstein returned the favor with a break of his own to make the third set score 4-2. Unfortunately, Chen won the final two games to take the set and win the match for the Longhorns, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

Michigan heads to Durham, N.C., on Friday (Jan. 28) to participate in ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Wolverines face No. 14 Duke at 10 a.m., and will face either Pepperdine of Virginia Tech on Saturday (Jan. 29). The regional serves as a four-team tournament, with the winner heading to the ITA National Team Indoors Championships on Feb. 18-21 in Seattle, Wash.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- Evan King (U-M) d. Ed Corrie (Texas), 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 -- No. 35 Jason Jung (U-M) d. Jean Andersen (Texas), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 -- No. 76 Kellen Damico (Texas) d. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 -- No. 78 Vasko Mladenov (Texas) d. Chris Cha (U-M), 6-4, 6-3
No. 5 -- No. 100 Ben Chen (Texas) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
No. 6 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Sudanwa Sitaram (Texas), 6-1, 6-3

No. 1 -- No. 5 Ed Corrie/Jean Andersen (Texas) d. No. 28 Jason Jung/Evan King (U-M), 8-4
No. 2 -- No. 25 David Holiner/Kellen Damico (Texas) d. Chris Cha/Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 8-5
No. 3 -- Ben Chen/Vasko Mladenov (Texas) d. Justin Rossi/Barrett Franks (U-M), 8-4

Order of Completion: Doubles 1-2-3, Singles 6-3-4-2-1-5*
* Clinched match


• U-M Hall of Honor inductee Brian Eisner (head coach; 1969-99), flanked by more than a dozen former players, was honored between doubles and singles.

• Michigan falls to 3-14 all-time against Texas.

• The Wolverines faced Texas at the Key Biscayne Individuals two weeks ago in Florida and lost every match in both singles and doubles. Evan King and Barrett Franks both avenged losses at Key Biscayne with wins on Saturday against the same opponents.

• Michigan went with the same lineup as it did against Western Michigan last Saturday (Jan. 15).


Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On the flow of the match ... "I could see it developing. I felt like we had a very good chance to win after Shaun won that second set. He competed well, but it boiled down to execution. I don't think he felt the pressure, but just had a few unforced errors. He'll get better, and this match will serve as a good experience for him."

On if playing Texas the first time two weeks ago helped them ... "I think it motivated them a little bit more. When I told the guys the lineup about an hour before the match, you could see the guys who had rematches from Key Biscayne were a little more fired up."

On the next step for the team ... "Our rate of improvement is getting better every day, and it starts at ITA Kick-Off Weekend next weekend. There were some great matches and great competition out there tonight, which will only serve us better for the future. I love how this team worked. Looking at our lineup tonight, we had three freshmen, two sophomores and a senior out there against the No. 5 team in the country. We're inexperienced at parts, but we're a mature group, and that's key."

U-M Sophomore Evan King
On his match ... "I was playing well and serving well. That's important. I didn't give up any free points and he wasn't, either. All the games he won in Florida (at Key Biscayne) were tight. The crowd was fantastic. It allowed me to have a little more fun out there. Everything just kind of clicked."

On what this match does for the team moving forward ... "It's disappointing that we lost the match, but this is definitely a confidence boost for our guys. Now we have to put this one behind us and get ready for a real tough Duke team next week. They've got good players on their team, and we have to come out on Friday expecting a battle, because that's what we're going to get."

On the performances of the freshmen ... "The freshmen are doing great. They are arguably working harder than anyone in practice. Barrett [Franks] had a great match tonight. All of a sudden, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw us tied at 1-1, then Barrett is coming over cheering me on. He did a great job. And Justin [Rossi] just brings attitude, even though he didn't play his best tonight. He was fired up to the last point."

U-M Freshman Shaun Bernstein
On his final match ... "I was excited. Sean [Maymi] and I talked this week about enjoying the process. Instead of playing tight, I knew I had to have some fun and just focus on that. I missed out on some opportunities. I thought I competed well, but I had just a few too many execution errors, and against a team like Texas, you can't make those errors."

On the crowd ... "I couldn't believe it. I can't thank them enough. Even when I was down, they kept cheering me on. It was unbelievable. The atmosphere for a college tennis match can't get much better than that."

On having the match come down to him ... "It was a new experience. Both teams were watching. I don't think the pressure got to me. Texas is one of the best teams in the country, and they are top-five for a reason. I thought our effort was fantastic. Can't ask for much more than that."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423