Wolverines Drop Regular-Season Finale at No. 3 Ohio State
Evan King

April 22, 2012

Site: Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Courts)
Score: #3 Ohio State 6, #21 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (16-6, 9-2 Big Ten), Ohio State (29-2, 11-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sun., April 26-29 -- at Big Ten Tournament (Evanston, Ill.)

COLMBUS, Ohio -- Junior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep) earned an upset victory at the No. 1 singles position, but the No. 21 University of Michigan men's tennis team suffered a 6-1 defeat to No. 3 Ohio State in the regular-season finale on Sunday afternoon (April 22) at the Buckeyes' Varsity Tennis Courts. OSU swept the doubles and claimed five of six singles matches.

King, No. 8 in the latest ITA ranking, secured his second straight win over No. 6 Blaz Rola, rallying from an early first-set deficit to claim a 6-3, 6-3 decision and extend his win streak to 15 in a row. The Wolverine junior, who is now 2-4 in collegiate meetings against Rola, also earned a 7-5, 7-5 win against him last fall in the second round of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships (Nov. 3-6).

The No. 1 singles match was the final completed contest of the afternoon as Ohio State took the previous five in straight sets to win its seventh straight Big Ten title outright. The Buckeyes clinched the match from the No. 6 position, where No. 101-ranked Connor Smith downed freshman Eli Brown (Toronto, Ontario/City Academy), 6-2, 6-2.

Ohio State also claimed all three doubles contests, including an 8-3 decision from top-ranked Rola and Chase Buchanan at the No. 1 position.

Michigan (16-6, 9-2 Big Ten) will travel to Evanston, Ill., for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday (April 26-29). With the No. 2 seed, U-M will open play on Friday (April 27) at Northwestern's Vandy Christie Tennis Center.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 8 Evan King (U-M) d. No. 6 Blaz Rola (OSU), 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 -- No. 12 Chase Buchanan (OSU) d. Alex Petrone (U-M), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 -- No. 67 Peter Kobelt (OSU) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 -- Ille Van Engelen (OSU) d. Michael Zhu (UM), 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 -- No. 83 Devin McCarthy (OSU) d. Barrett Franks (U-M), 6-4, 6-1
No. 6 -- No. 101 Connor Smith (OSU) d. Eli Brown (U-M), 6-2, 6-2

No. 1 -- No. 1 Buchanan/Rola (OSU) d. No. 22 Bernstein/King (U-M), 8-3
No. 2 -- Kobelt/Smith (OSU) d. Buzzi/Franks (U-M), 8-4
No. 3 -- No. 34 McCarthy/Van Engelen (OSU) d. Zhu/Petrone (U-M), 8-4

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


• With today's loss, Michigan fell to 73-30-2 in the all-time series against Ohio State. Today's loss also halted U-M's seven-match win streak.

• With its 9-2 record in Big Ten play, Michigan has registered its most conference wins since also tallying nine in 1999.

• Junior Evan King has won 19 of his last 20 singles matches.

• King improved to 32-6 on the season and claimed sole possession of the eighth position among Michigan's all-time single-season win leaders. He needs two more to reach the seventh spot, currently held by Dan Goldberg (34, 1988).


Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On today's match ... "Our guys were ready to play. I just wanted for them to go after it. We all thought that we had a chance if we played our best tennis. They stepped out there ready to play. But unfortunately we didn't play our best tennis today. Ohio State is very good, and to beat a team like that, you have to put your best on the court. So Ohio State played very well, and they deserved to win."

On junior Evan King's singles win ... "Evan played very well today. It was difficult conditions. We played outside and it was cold and windy, but Evan played at a very high level. He was actually down a break early in the first set and under threat of being down two breaks, but he hung in there and really dug out a couple tough games. After that, he served at a very high level, made a lot of balls, and played a great match. It was a really good win for him."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423