Wolverines Celebrate Senior Day With Victory Over Purdue

April 18, 2010


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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #25 Michigan 5, Purdue 2
Records: Michigan (11-8, 7-1 Big Ten), Purdue (11-11, 1-6 Big Ten)
Next Event: Friday, April 23 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 3 p.m. CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In the final home match of the 2009-10 season, the No. 25-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team defeated Purdue, 5-2, on Senior Day (Sunday, April 18) at the Varsity Tennis Center. Prior to the match, the Wolverines' two seniors, George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) and Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep), were honored on the court with their families in a special presentation. They later added Michigan's final two points despite losing in doubles earlier in the match.

Purdue grabbed the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead in the match, winning at Nos. 1 and 3. The Boilermakers' No. 3 team of P.J. Rose and Eric Ramos began doubles with an 8-3 victory over freshman Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) and junior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa). Michigan evened things up at No. 2 when junior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) easily handled Paul Foley and Thomas Wilson, 8-2. Then at No. 1, Navas and Sroczynski, the No. 37 tandem in the country, were upset by Slavko Bijelica and Branko Kuzmanovic in the tiebreaker, 9-8 (3).

Facing an early deficit, the Wolverines responded in a big way in singles as Madden manhandled Foley at No. 5 in just over an hour, 6-0, 6-3. A few minutes later, King followed up another lopsided win, taking down Rose at No. 1, 6-1, 6-0, to put Michigan in front, 2-1. Jung added another point for the Wolverines with his win at No. 2 over Bijelica, 6-2, 6-3, making the score 3-1. The only win for Purdue in singles came at No. 6 when Wilson defeated Cha, 6-3, 6-4, to creep back within one at 3-2.

Fittingly, on Senior Day the only two matches left in play (at Nos. 3 and 4) in a tight match contained both of Michigan's seniors. Navas was the first off the court, coming from behind in the second set at No. 4 to overtake Eric Ramos, 6-3, 7-6 (5), and clinching the match for the Wolverines. With the match already decided, Sroczynski regrouped after dropping the first set to win in three sets over Kuzmanovic at No. 3, pushing the final score to 5-2.

With the Big Ten Championships just two weeks away, the Wolverines will conclude the regular season on the road, beginning on Friday (April 23), when they face Illinois in Champaign, Ill. The match will begin at 3 p.m. CDT.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 113 Evan King (U-M) d. P.J. Rose (PUR), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2 -- No. 36 Jason Jung (U-M) d. Slavko Bijelica (PUR), 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 -- Mike Sroczynski (U-M) d. Branko Buzmanovic (PUR), 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 -- George Navas (U-M) d. Eric Ramos (PUR), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
No. 5 -- Chris Madden (U-M) d. Paul Foley (PUR), 6-0, 6-3
No. 6 -- Thomas Wilson (PUR) d. Chris Cha (U-M), 6-3, 6-4

No. 1 -- Bijelica/Kuzmanovic (PUR) d. No. 38 Navas/Sroczynski (U-M), 9-8 (3)
No. 2 -- No. 37 Jung/King (U-M) d. Foley/Wilson (PUR), 8-2
No. 3 -- Ramos/Rose (PUR) d. Cha/Madden (U-M), 8-3

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


• With the win, Michigan improves to 11-8 on the season (7-1 in Big Ten play).

• Sunday's match against Purdue was the 75th in the all-time series. The Wolverines now hold an astonishing 65-10 (.866) edge over the Boilermakers and have won six straight in the series (last loss in 2004).

• Michigan went 7-3 at the Varsity Tennis Center this season. All seven wins came against Big Ten opponents. Michigan has outscored Big Ten opponents 31-11 at home this season.

• Both Navas and Madden move to 7-1 in Big Ten singles play this season. Madden's win was also his 20th of the season (20-10 overall).

• Jung and King swapped spots atop the singles lineup against Purdue. King moved back to No. 1 singles after playing at No. 2 last weekend against Penn State and Ohio State. With his win Sunday, King is now 5-2 at No. 1 singles this season and Jung is 5-2 at No. 2.

• The Wolverines lost the doubles point for only the fifth time this season, meaning they have won the point in 14 of 19 matches this season. Michigan is 10-4 this season when it wins the doubles point and 1-4 when it does not.

• Purdue was only the second non-ranked team Michigan has played in a dual match this season. The other was Michigan State.


Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On the win over Purdue ... "It looked tight for a while. I was disappointed with our lack of energy in doubles. We came out flat, maybe the flattest we have looked all year in doubles. We built some convincing leads in singles, but maybe that gave us a false sense of security. It certainly appeared it would come down to George and he would have a three-setter, but we shouldn't be cutting it so close. Purdue played pretty well today, but we were not playing at our top level, which is something we need to fix before next weekend."

On seniors George Navas and Mike Sroczynski ... "I'm always going to have fond memories of them, not just for the success they have endured, but for the commitment they have made to this program. Before the season, I sat down with both of them and they made it clear to me that they wanted to set Michigan up for success after they left, and I think they have done that. They bring so much to this program and this team, it was nice to see them have a strong finish."

On next weekend's final two matches prior to the Big Ten Championships ... "We knew next week (with road matches against Illinois and Indiana) would be tough. I've felt that we have been improving slowly but surely each week, but today gave us our first hiccup. And we still won five of six singles matches. Hopefully this is a wake-up call for our guys. It's going to take our best effort, a strong effort, to come out with wins next week against both Illinois and Indiana, two very good teams. We've got to re-focus."

U-M Senior George Navas
On his postmatch discussion with Berque ... "We were just talking about what we needed to improve on for the next match and where our focus needs to be. As a team, we have to be re-energized next weekend and hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things. I think we got kind of lucky with this one."

On his Senior Day ... "The [prematch] ceremony was really nice, being able to do it in front of all of our fans and family. I thought Mike and I came out a little flat in doubles, but all the different emotions of this day didn't really hit me until the second set of singles. I don't think I've been like that in a long time. This was my last match at home, and I didn't want to go out with a home loss to Purdue. I was able to find a way to get it done."

U-M Senior Mike Sroczynski
On the prematch ceremony ... "It was definitely emotional for me. I was fortunate enough to spend four great years here and met a lot of people that have helped me. It's sad, it's my last match at home. I'm sure George had the same kinds of emotions running through his head. It was difficult."

On his doubles match ... "Doubles we came out a bit flat and weren't really on top of our game. We kept it close there for a while, but couldn't get that one bounce we needed to overcome. I don't really think the emotions of the ceremony before had anything to do with how we started. In the end, a match is a match, and we weren't ready or energized to play.

On his singles match ... "It started out a bleak for me. I was staying in points, just not winning them. I was letting go mentally. Then I started to think that this isn't how I wanted to go out, losing 6-1, 6-2 to Purdue at home. Tennis is a sport where anything can happen and I was able to pull it out."

On his postmatch emotions ... "I was definitely glad that I won, considering I should have been done. It was kind of an anti-climactic finish, but I gave a thumbs up to the fans and looked back at them. Even though the match was clinched, they still stuck around and watched me, which meant a lot. Our fans have been so supportive this season; I felt I needed to pay homage to them one last time."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423