Feb. 11, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Result: #22 Michigan 4, #23 Washington 3
Records: Michigan (4-2), Washington (6-1)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 13 -- vs. Vanderbilt (Varsity Tennis Center), 2 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network, tape delay)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Consecutive three-set wins by sophomore Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) and freshman Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) helped the No. 22-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team to a 4-3, come-from-behind victory over No. 23 Washington on Friday (Feb. 11) at the Varsity Tennis Center. It was career win No. 100 for U-M head coach Bruce Berque.
The Wolverines' struggles in doubles play continued as Washington grabbed the point to take a 1-0 lead. Michigan actually led off doubles with a win at No. 3, as Bernstein and Cha took down Brad Bator and Marton Bots, 8-5.
Doubles also marked the return and subsequent season debut of senior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa), who played at No. 2 with freshman Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep). They were down 5-4 to Martin Kildahl and Tobi Obenaus, the 33rd-ranked doubles tandem in the country, until Michigan's pair broke its opponent to tie the match at 5-5. Momentum seemed on the Wolverines' side, but Washington got a break of its own to go up, 6-5, and held serve in the next game to go up, 7-5. The Wolverines got a point back to make it 7-6, but the Huskies served out the next game to take the match and the doubles point, 8-5.
Washington increased its lead to 2-0 with a win at No. 2, before sophomore Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) brought Michigan to within one with a 6-4, 6-4 win over another ranked opponent, No. 93 Jeevan Nedunchezeeyan. Freshman Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') then knotted the score at 2-2 with a win at No. 5 over Tobi Obenaus, 7-6 (2), 6-3. Franks broke Obenaus to go up 5-3 and served out in the next game for the win.
The Huskies increased their advantage to 3-2 with a three-set win at No. 3. Cha was up 7-6, 5-3 at No. 6, but Bots fought off six match-point advantages over the next four games, forcing the two to a third set.
Two courts over, Bernstein was down 2-0 in the third to Daniel Schmidt by the time the match at No. 3 concluded. Bernstein rattled off six straight game wins to down Schmidt, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, tying the score at 3-3 and bringing Michigan within one point of a win. Cha completed the comeback in the third set against Bots, winning 7-6 (4), 6-7 (9), 6-2.
The Wolverines look for the home stand sweep on Sunday (Feb. 13), when they host Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. The match will be televised on the Big Ten Network, showing Sunday, Feb. 27, at 10 a.m.
The following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- Evan King (U-M) d. #93 Jeevan Nedunchezeeyun (Wash), 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 -- #81 Kyle McMorrow (Wash) d. #35 Jason Jung (U-M), 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 -- #83 Martin Kildahl (Wash) d. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
No. 4 -- Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. Daniel Schmidt (Wash), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Tobi Obenaus (Wash), 7-6 (2), 6-3
No. 6 -- Chris Cha (U-M) d. Marton Bots (Wash), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (9), 6-2
No. 1 -- #30 Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan/Kyle McMorrow (Wash) d. #28 Jason Jung/Evan King (U-M), 8-5
No. 2 -- #33 Martin Kildahl/Tobi Obenaus (Wash) d. Chris Madden/Justin Rossi (U-M), 8-6
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein/Chris Cha (U-M) d. Brad Bator/Marton Bots (Wash), 8-5
Order of Completion: Doubles 3-1-2, Singles 2-1-5-3-4-6*
* Clinched match
N O T E S
Head coach Bruce Berque is third on Michigan's all-time coaching list with 100 wins, behind recent U-M Hall of Honor inductee Brian Eisner (449) and William Murphy (199).
It was only the two teams' third all-time meeting. Michigan holds the series lead 2-1 (.666) over Washington.
Michigan handed Washington its first loss of the season. The Huskies came into the match 6-0 but did not play on the road prior to Friday.
The Wolverines won the match despite losing the doubles point. Michigan is 3-2 in matches when it does not win the doubles point.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On reaching the 100-win plateau ... "What feels better than No. 100 is getting this win. Period. I thought we battled and competed real well out there, and our underclassmen really stepped up in spots when we needed them to. Washington is a good team, and we knew that going in. We expected a battle and that's exactly what we got. We were pushed to the limit."
On the flow of the match ... "It was very combative, and often times when that happens, things get a little testy out there. I was very proud of the way our guys handled it. Jason [Jung] had a tough night, but as I said, our younger guys really stepped up. Shaun, Justin, Barrett... we feel those guys can play at spots 3-6 interchangeably."
On the final two matches ... "It was great to walk over and see our guys feed off our crowd. Both those guys - Shaun and Chris - were aggressive at the end, and that's a big reason why they were able to win. Shaun is so much further ahead than where he was at a few weeks ago. He just wants it so bad, and stepped up in a big way. Same with Chris. They both gave a great effort competitively. They'll gain a lot from this match."
On Sunday's match vs. Vanderbilt ... "Another battle, and that's what I told our team after. They are a tough opponent, and much better than their current ranking (No. 44) indicates. We're looking forward to the match and being able to showcase our tennis program, facility and great fans on the Big Ten Network."
U-M Sophomore Chris Cha
On his singles match ... "It was a tough match for sure. To have all those match points in the second set and lose, it was definitely tough. Sean [Maymi] gave me some good advice on the bench between the second and third sets that really helped me pull it out. I really wanted to win it, but just seemed like I couldn't catch a break during that second set."
On the team win ... "It feels great to get it because we know Washington is a very good and very tough team. I've only been on the court once with the match on the line, and it was last year when I wasn't feeling my best. I didn't think about the pressure. I tried to key in on the process, not the outcome, and I was able to come out with the win."
U-M Freshman Shaun Bernstein
On his singles match ... "I thought I competed well. I didn't play nearly my best, but the encouragement I got from the crowd and from Sean [Maymi] was extremely helpful. A lot of times in these tough matches, you just have to persevere and find ways to win. I was fortunate in the second set, and the third was an absolute battle, much like the entire match was for our team."
On the team win ... "We had tough patches tonight, but overall, this is a real good win for our team. We were motivated to come out and play a good match, and even though we could have played better, it is still very gratifying to get that win."
On pressure of being the last one on the court ... "It wasn't, 'Oh no' but rather, 'This is it.' Sometimes the more tight the match gets, the more fun it is. It came down to me, and when it did, I was lucky that I was in a good position. It also definitely helped to see Chris [Cha] in control down there. That gave me some confidence."
U-M Freshman Justin Rossi
On underclassmen success ... "All the freshmen and sophomores out there did a great job competing. They helped us get the W today. Shaun and Chris really showed a lot on the court. To lose six match points in the second set, come back and win showed great presence and competitiveness. And Shaun, he's always a fighter. Even though he got down 2-0 in the third, he stuck with it and rallied to win six straight games. Overall, I'm proud of our team."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423