Wolverines Cannot Maintain Lead in Loss to No. 11 Illinois
Barrett Franks

April 6, 2014

Site: Urbana, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Score: Illinois 5, Michigan 2
Records: U-M (11-10, 3-4 Big Ten), Illinois (16-7, 4-2 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 11 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 6 p.m. CDT

URBANA, Ill. -- The University of Michigan men's tennis team claimed the doubles point and the first singles match off the court but could not maintain its advantage, falling to No. 11 Illinois, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon (April 6) at the Atkins Tennis Center.

The Wolverines jumped out to the early lead by earning the doubles point with tiebreaker victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. U-M's No. 3 duo of juniors Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National) were first off the court, posting an 8-7 win over Alex Jesse and Blake Bazarnik. Petrone and Zhu cruised in the tiebreaker, claiming the first seven points to notch the victory.

Shortly thereafter, Michigan's No. 1 tandem of seniors Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Barrett Franks (Christchuch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') followed with a narrow 8-7 (6) upset victory over Illinois' third-ranked pairing of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon to give U-M the initial point. Buzzi and Franks own four wins over top-20 ranked opponents during the dual-match season.

After dropping the doubles point, Illinois responded by winning four of the first five singles matches -- three in straight sets -- to earn the dual-match victory.

Franks gave U-M a 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Jullian Childers at the No. 6 position, but the Illini followed with consecutive wins at Nos. 3, 2 and 1 to take a 3-2 lead. Illinois clinched the match soon after at the No. 5 singles position, as Bazarnik defeated Buzzi, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Illinois added one final point at the No. 4 position, as Guignon defeated redshirt junior Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) in three sets, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

The Maize and Blue will return to the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten duals. U-M will travel to Minneapolis, Minn,, to square off against Minnesota at 6 p.m. on Friday (April 11) before wrapping up the weekend Sunday (April 13) with a noon match against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 23 Faris Gosea (Illinois) def. No. 115 Alex Petrone (U-M), 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-2
No. 2 -- No. 9 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) def. Vlad Stefan (U-M), 7-6 (2), 6-1
No. 3 -- No. 42 Tim Kopinski (Illinois) def. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 -- Ross Guignon (Illinois) def. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
No. 5 -- Blake Bazarnik (Illinois) def. Alex Buzzi (U-M), 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 6 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) def. Jullian Childers (Illinois), 6-2, 6-2

No. 1 -- Alex Buzzi/Barrett Franks (U-M) def. No. 3 Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (Illinois), 8-7 (6)
No. 2 -- Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M) vs. Jared Hiltzik/Farris Gosea (Illinois), 7-7 DNF
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) def. Alex Jesse/Blake Bazarnik (Illinois), 8-7 (0)

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

Media Contact: ;Zach Eisendrath (zeisen@umich.edu)