Jan. 26, 2014
Site: Oxford, Miss. (Gillom Sports Center)
Event: ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Day 2)
Result: #22 Illinois 4, Michigan 2
Records: U-M (3-1), Illinois (2-0)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 2 -- vs. North Carolina State (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 26-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday (Jan. 26), falling to No. 22 Illinois, 4-2, in the championship match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, held at the Gillom Sports Center.
After dropping the doubles point, the Illini claimed four singles matches and clinched the dual at the No. 5 spot, where Blake Bazarnik defeated senior Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 6-0). Illinois' other singles victories came at the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 positions.
Michigan's lone singles victory came at No. 2, where junior Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) battled back from one set down to earn a narrow 4-6, 6-5 (5), 6-4 victory over Farris Gosea. Petrone is 3-1 in dual competition and 7-6 overall this season.
U-M posted the first team point of the match, earning the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. Buzzi and senior Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') were first off the court, picking up a 6-3 upset victory over Illinois' fourth-ranked tandem of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon. After the Illini earned a 6-4 decision at the No. 2 spot, the U-M duo of senior Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and freshman Kevin Wong (Hong Kong/Diocesa) clinched the doubles point for the Maize and Blue, edging Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse in a tiebreaker, 6-5 (3).
The Wolverines return to the Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday (Feb. 2) for a noon match against North Carolina State.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 4 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) d. Vlad Stefan (U-M), 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone (U-M) d. Farris Gosea (Illinois), 4-6, 6-5 (5), 6-4
No. 3 -- Tim Kopinski (Illinois) d. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 -- Brian Page (Illinois) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 -- Blake Bazarnik (Illinois) d. Alex Buzzi (U-M), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) vs. Ross Guignon (Illinois), 5-6 (3) DNF
No. 1 -- Alex Buzzi/Barrett Franks (U-M) d. No. 4 Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (Illinois), 6-3
No. 2 -- No. 31 Farris Gosea/Blake Bazarnik d. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M), 6-4
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M) d. Jared Hiltzik/Alex Jesse (Illinois), 6-5 (3)
Order of Completion: Doubles 1-2-3, Singles 1-3-4-2-5