U-M Loses Close Match to No. 21 Texas Tech in ITA Kickoff Opener
Michael Zhu

Jan. 28, 2012

Site: Austin, Texas (Penick-Allison Tennis Center)
Event: ITA Kickoff Weekend
Result: #21 Texas Tech 4, Michigan 3
Records: U-M (1-2), Texas Tech (3-0)
Next U-M Match: Sunday, Jan. 29 -- vs. Maryland - ITA Kickoff Weekend (Austin, Texas), 11 a.m. CST

AUSTIN, Texas -- For the second straight dual appearance, the University of Michigan men's tennis team could not hang onto its early advantage, dropping the final two singles matches in a narrow 4-3 loss to No. 21 Texas Tech in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Saturday (Jan. 28) at Texas' Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The Wolverines will face Maryland in tomorrow's (Sunday, Jan. 29) consolation match at 11 a.m. CST.

With the dual score knotted up at three apiece, sophomore Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Old Bethpage JFK HS) fell just short in his upset bid against No. 23-ranked Gonzalo Escobar, falling 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, at the No. 2 singles position. After forcing a third set with a tiebreaker win in the second, Bernstein won three straight games to battle back from a 5-1 deficit, before Gonzalo closed out the match from the line.

Michigan claimed the doubles point for the third time in as many duals this season, taking the initial point with wins in the first two matches off court, at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Michigan's freshman pairing of Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National HS) remained unbeaten in dual action with a quick 8-3 decision over Raphael Pfister and Francisco Zambon at the No. 3 spot.

Zhu also cruised to 6-3, 6-3 victory over Zambon at the No. 3 singles position, keeping the Wolverines ahead after a loss at No. 5 singles. Junior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep), ranked sixth nationally, won in straight sets at the No. 1 spot, earning a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Raony Carvalho.

The Red Raiders pulled even with back-to-back wins at the No. 6 and No. 3 positions. Rafael Garcia rallied after dropping the first set tiebreaker in the former match, claiming early breaks in the final two sets to defeat Petrone, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 6 Evan King (U-M) d. Raony Carvalho (TTU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 -- No. 23 Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4
No. 3 -- Rafael Garcia (TTU) d. Alex Petrone (U-M), 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 -- Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Francisco Zambon (TTU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 -- Vitor Manzini (TTU) d. Barrett Franks (U-M), 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 -- Raphael Pfister (TTU) d. Alex Buzzi (U-M), 6-4, 6-1

No. 1 -- No. 22 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (U-M) vs. Raony Carvalho/Rafael Garcia (TTU), 7-6 abandoned
No. 2 -- Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Gonzalo Escobar/Vitor Manzini (TTU), 8-6
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Raphael Pfister/Francisco Zambon (TTU), 8-3

Order of completion: Singles 5-4-1-6-3-2; Doubles 3-2

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423