Wolverines Hold Off Spartans in Big Ten Opener
Vlad Stefan

March 14, 2013

Site: East Lansing, Mich.
Score: Michigan 4, Michigan State 3
Records: U-M (5-6, 1-0 Big Ten), Michigan State (6-8, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 17 -- at LSU (Baton Rouge, La.), 2:30 p.m. CDT

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's tennis team earned a 4-3 victory at Michigan State in the Big Ten opener on Thursday night (March 14) inside the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. After dropping the doubles point, the Wolverines won four of six singles matches to secure their 10th consecutive victory over their in-state rival.

Junior Vlad Stefan (Bucharest, Romania) clinched the dual in the final match on the court, delivering a three-set victory over MSU's Drew Lied at the No. 2 singles position. Stefan won the first set 6-2 before losing the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6. He made quick work of Lied in the third-and-deciding set, quickly winning the first three games of the set on his way to a 6-1 triumph.

Michigan State grabbed the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead, winning at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. After MSU claimed the first match off the court at No. 2, Michigan's 37th-ranked tandem of senior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and junior Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) earned an 8-3 decision over the Spartan duo of Gijs Linders and Harry Jadun at the top of the doubles lineup. Moments later, the MSU pairing of Lied and John Patrick Mullane defeated junior Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and sophomore Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep), 8-4, at No. 3 to give the Spartans the initial point.

MSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a win at No. 4 singles, but Buzzi and junior Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys) notched back-to-back victories at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, to even the dual. Franks downed Linders in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-2), and Buzzi followed suit shortly thereafter, earning a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 decision over Jadun.

Michigan State's Denis Bogatov posted a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Petrone at the third singles position to put the Spartans back in front, 3-2, before King -- the reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week -- tied up the dual for the final time with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Pfister at No. 1. With the win, King extended his winning streak to 14 matches and improved to 11-0 in dual competition.

The Wolverines wrap up non-conference play on Sunday (March 17), traveling to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Tennis Stadium.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 15 Evan King (U-M) d. Aaron Pfister (MSU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
No. 2 -- Vlad Stefan (U-M) d. Drew Lied (MSU), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1
No. 3 -- Denis Bogatov (MSU) d. Alex Petrone (U-M), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
No. 4 -- John Patrick Mullane (MSU) d. Michael Zhu (U-M), 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Gijs Linders (MSU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
No. 6 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Harry Jadun (MSU), 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

No. 1 -- No. 37 Evan King/Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Gijs Linders/Harry Jadun (MSU), 8-3
No. 2 -- Aaron Pfister/Denis Bogatov (MSU) d. Barrett Franks/Justin Rossi (U-M), 8-5
No. 3 -- Drew Lied/John Patrick Mullane (MSU) d. Shaun Bernstein/Alex Petrone, 8-4

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

Media Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423