Michigan Clinches Win over Illinois with Strong Singles Play
Alex Buzzi

April 6, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: Michigan 5, Illinois 2
Attendance: 265
Records: U-M (10-7, 5-1 Big Ten), Illinois (11-8, 4-2 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 7 -- vs. Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After dropping the doubles point, the University of Michigan men's tennis team claimed five of six singles matches to earn a 5-2 victory over Illinois on Saturday (April 6) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

The Wolverines won the first four singles matches off the court -- all in straight sets -- to surge past the Fighting Illini. Junior Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') and senior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep) finished in quick succession at the No. 3 and No. 1 positions to help start the Michigan rally.

Franks was first off the court for the Maize and Blue, picking up his eighth consecutive victory with a 6-2, 6-4 decision over Ross Guignon at the No. 3 spot. Just moments later, King put the Wolverines ahead, 2-1, with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Hiltzik at the top of the singles lineup. King, listed at No. 15 in the latest ITA rankings, improved to 16-1 in dual competition with the win.

Sophomore Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National) gave Michigan its third point of the match, battling to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Farris Gosea at No. 5. Shortly thereafter, junior Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) clinched the dual from the No. 6 position, defeating Illinois' Alex Jesse, 6-3, 6-4, for his third straight dual win.

With the dual already decided, U-M split the final two matches on the court. After Illinois earned a victory at the No. 4 position, sophomore Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) edged Tim Kopinski, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (14-12) at the No. 2 spot.

The Illini claimed the doubles point with victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. U-M's No. 2 pairing of Petrone and Zhu led the Illinois duo of Jesse and Hiltzik, 8-7, when the point was secured.

Michigan will wrap up the Big Ten home weekend tomorrow (Sunday, April 7), hosting Northwestern at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 15 Evan King (U-M) d. Jared Hiltzik (Illinois), 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone (U-M) d. Tim Kopinski (Illinois), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (14-12)
No. 3 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Ross Guignon (Illinois), 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 -- Stephen Hoh (Illinois) d. No. 98 Vlad Stefan (U-M), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
No. 5 -- Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Farris Gosea (Illinois), 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Alex Jesse (Illinois), 6-3, 6-4

No. 1 -- Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (Illinois) d. No. 12 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 8-6
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. Alex Jesse/Jared Hiltzik (Illinois), DNF 8-7
No. 3 -- Farris Gosea/Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois) d. Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M), 8-6

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

Media Contact: Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423