Wolverines Close Out Spartans in Big Ten Opener
Alex Buzzi

Feb. 28, 2014

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: Michigan 4, Michigan State 3
Records: U-M (6-4, 0-0 Big Ten), MSU (5-6, 0-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 6 -- at Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), 2 p.m. HST

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In a back-and-forth match that spanned nearly four hours, the No. 26-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team earned a 4-3 decision over Michigan State in the Big Ten opener on Friday night (Feb. 28) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Senior Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) clinched the dual in the final match on the court, delivering a narrow three-set victory over MSU's Brett Forman at the No. 4 position. Buzzi won the first set 6-3 before losing the second set, 7-5. Tied 3-3 in the third and decisive set, Buzzi broke Forman's serve to go up, 4-3, and held serve the rest of the way on his way to a 6-4 triumph.

The Wolverines began the dual by claiming a tightly contested doubles point, earning victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. After a hard-fought 8-5 win at the No. 2 spot by senior Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and freshman Kevin Wong (Hong Kong/Diocesa) over the tandem of Harry Jadun and Gijs Linders, Michigan's No. 3 pairing of juniors Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National) clinched the point with a come-from-behind 8-6 victory, winning the final five games against Forman and Aaron Pfister to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.

Michigan State tied the dual at 1-1 after Pfister defeated Petrone, 6-4, 6-3, in the first singles match off the court. Franks put the Wolverines back in front with a 6-4, 6-4 decision at the No. 6 position, but shortly thereafter the Spartans' John Patrick Mullane tied the match, 2-2, with a 6-1, 7-5 win at the No. 3 spot.

Senior/junior Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) secured U-M's third point of the dual, downing Linders (6-2, 7-6 (0)) at the fourth singles position. Rossi won all seven points in the second-set tiebreaker to earn the victory.

With Michigan holding a 3-2 lead, Michigan State's Drew Lied tied the dual for the final time with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory over junior Vlad Stefan (Bucharest, Romania) at the top of the lineup.

Michigan will hit the road for spring break, traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii, to face Hawaii on Thursday (March 6). The match is slated for a 2 p.m. HST start.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- Drew Lied (Michigan State) d. Vlad Stefan (U-M), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
No. 2 -- Aaron Pfister (Michigan State) d. No. 113 Alex Petrone (U-M), 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 -- John Patrick Mullane (Michigan State) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-1, 7-5
No. 4 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Brett Forman (Michigan State) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
No. 5 -- Justin Rossi (U-M) d. Gijs Linders (Michigan State), 6-2, 7-6 (0)
No. 6 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Harry Jadun (Michigan State), 6-4, 6-4

No. 1 -- No. 17 Alex Buzzi/Barrett Franks (U-M) vs. Drew Lied/John Patrick Mullane (Michigan State), 7-7
No. 2 -- No. 58 Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M) d. Harry Jadun/Gijs Linders (Michigan State), 8-5
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Aaron Pfister/Brett Forman (Michigan State), 8-6

Order of Completion: Doubles 2-3, Singles 2-6-3-5-4

Media Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423