April 23, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Score: Michigan 5, Northwestern 2
Records: U-M (13-9, 6-4 Big Ten), Northwestern (11-12, 2-7 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sun., April 28-May 1 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison, Wis.)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The University of Michigan men's tennis team defeated Northwestern, 5-2, to close out the regular season on Saturday (April 23) at the Combe Tennis Center. The road triumph was Michigan's 10th straight win over Northwestern.
Michigan found itself down 1-0 heading into singles after losing the doubles point to the Wildcats. The Wolverines' No. 1 team of Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) dominated Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf at the top spot, 8-1. The Wildcats got one back at No. 3, with the doubles point hanging in the balance at No. 2, but Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) fell short in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (3).
Michigan's seniors paved the way to start singles. Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) gave the Wolverines a spark, shutting out Eric Spector at No. 6, 6-0, 6-0, to tie the match at 1-1, before Jung put the team ahead, 2-1, with a win at No. 2 over Wolf, 6-2, 6-1.
Bernstein put the Wildcats on the brink with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Sidarth Balaji at No. 3, making the score 3-1 in favor of Michigan. Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') then clinched the match for the Wolverines with his defeat of Raleigh Smith, 7-6 (1), 6-4 at No. 4.
Two other matches were still in progress when the match point was clinched. Northwestern got a point back at No. 5 after Andrew McCarthy defeated Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. King was battled all afternoon by Graves at No. 1, eventually coming back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set to win, 6-3, 7-6 (6), to cap the match at 5-2.
Michigan now awaits its draw for the Big Ten Championships, which begin next Thursday (April 28) in Madison, Wis. The Wolverines finished 6-4 in the Big Ten, good enough for fifth; however, if Wisconsin beats Illinois tomorrow (Sunday, April 24) in Champaign, all three teams will have identical records in conference play, and a tiebreaker would determine who are the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds. If Illinois wins, it will be the fourth seed and play Michigan, the No. 5 seed, in the 4/5 match on Friday (April 29) in the quarterfinals. The official tournament draw will be released after Sunday's (April 24) matches around the conference have concluded.
The following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- #21 Evan King (U-M) d. Joshua Graves (NU), 6-3, 7-6 (6)
No. 2 -- #50 Jason Jung (U-M) d. Spencer Wolf (NU), 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. Sidarth Balaji (NU), 7-5, 6-4
No. 4 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Raleigh Smith (NU), 7-6 (1), 6-4
No. 5 -- Andrew McCarthy (NU) d. Chris Cha (U-M), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
No. 6 -- Chris Madden (U-M) d. Eric Spector (NU), 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 -- Jason Jung/Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. Joshua Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU), 8-1
No. 2 -- Tobias Reitz/Andrew McCarthy (NU) d. Evan King/Alex Buzzi (U-M), 9-8 (3)
No. 3 -- Chris Jackman/Raleigh Smith (NU) d. Chris Cha/Justin Rossi (U-M), 8-5
Order of Completion: Doubles 1-3-2, Singles 6-2-3-4*-5-1
* Clinched match
N O T E S
Michigan improves to 67-25-1 all-time against Northwestern.
Michigan had not won back-to-back matches since March 20 and 25 against Michigan State and Purdue in the first two matches of the Big Ten slate.
The Wolverines finished the regular season with an 8-4 record in matches played away from Ann Arbor; 7-4 in true road matches and 1-0 on neutral site.
Michigan is now 6-16 in its attempts to win the doubles point this season. The Wolverines are 5-1 when they win the point and 8-8 when they lose it.
With his doubles win, Jason Jung now has 87 for his career, three shy of tying the all-time record for most doubles wins in a career (90). The record is held by three men, former Wolverines Brian Hung (2004-07), Matko Maravic (2005-08) and Mike Sroczynski (2007-10).
Jason Jung's win was his 10th in the last 11 matches. He finishes the Big Ten slate with a 9-1 record, with the only setback coming in three sets to Tobias Wernet (Minnesota) on April 3.
Northwestern is coached by former Michigan tennis player Arvid Swan (1995-98). He was an All-Big Ten pick in 1996 as a sophomore, and went 30-13 (singles) and 23-13 (doubles) as a senior in 1998.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On the match ... "I thought our guys did a good job in singles. To win five out of six against a good team on the road isn't easy. And even though Chris Cha lost, I thought all of our guys were very competitive. We're progressing. It certainly was a good team effort on the road."
On the upcoming postseason ... "Whoever we play, we're excited to go. We've talked to these guys about the postseason. We need everyone's full commitment to extend the season for as a long as we can because we don't want it to end for our seniors. We're looking forward to getting back at it. It seems like it's been a long season, but we want to keep playing. We aren't ready to stop."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423