Wolverines Come from Behind to Top PSU, Advance to Big Ten Semis
Vlad Stefan

April 25, 2014

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Site: East Lansing, Mich. (MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Score: Michigan 4, #24 Penn State 2
Records: U-M (16-11), PSU (21-5)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 26 -- vs. Illinois - Big Ten Tournament Semifinals (MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts), 2 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- After dropping the doubles point, the No. 6 seed University of Michigan men's tennis team claimed four of the first five singles matches off the court en route to a 4-2 upset win over No. 3 seed and 24th-ranked Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament on Friday (April 25) at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.

The Nittany Lions posted the first team point of the match, earning victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions. The PSU duo of Chris Young and Michael Reilly earned an 8-2 victory over senior Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and freshman Kevin Wong (Hong Kong/Diocesa) at the No. 2 position in the first match off the court. Shortly thereafter, the Penn State pairing of Leonard Stakhovsky and Russell Bader closed out an 8-5 win over seniors Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Barrett Franks (Christchuch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys' School) at the top of the lineup to secure the initial point.

Facing a 1-0 deficit, Michigan needed to win four of six singles matches to earn the team victory. Junior Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep), a first-team All-Big Ten selection, started the Wolverines off on the right foot, notching a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over 37th-ranked Stakhovsky at the No. 1 position. Buzzi followed at the No. 5 position, defeating Roman Trkulja, 6-4, 6-3, to give U-M a 2-0 lead.

Junior Vlad Stefan (Bucharest, Romania) moved Michigan to within one point of clinching the match with a straight-sets victory at No. 4, beating Matt Barry, 7-6 (4), 7-5, to give the Maize and Blue a 3-1 advantage.

Moments after Penn State notched a victory at the No. 2 singles position, Franks clinched the match from the No. 6 singles spot, securing his third dual-match clinching triumph of the season with a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Nika Dolidze.

Sixth-seeded Michigan will face second-seeded, and No. 12-ranked, Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals tomorrow (Saturday, April 26) at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts. The Illini defeated Indiana, 4-1, in the quarterfinal round. Illinois won both meetings against Michigan during the regular season, earning a 4-2 decision at the ITA Kickoff Event in Oxford, Miss., on Jan. 26 and notching a 5-2 victory in Urbana, Ill., on April 6.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 111 Alex Petrone (U-M) def. No. 37 Leonard Stakhovsky (Penn State), 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 -- Russell Bader (Penn State) def. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 7-6, 3-6, 6-3
No. 3 -- Justin Rossi (U-M) vs. Alex Fennell (Penn State), 2-6, 4-3 DNF
No. 4 -- Vlad Stefan (U-M) def. Matt Barry (Penn State), 7-6 (4), 7-5
No. 5 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) def. Roman Trkulja (Penn State), 6-4, 6-3
No. 6 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) def. Nika Dolidze (Penn State), 6-2, 6-1

No. 1 -- No. 33 Russell Bader/Leonard Stakhovsky (Penn State) def. No. 32 Alex Buzzi/Barrett Franks (U-M), 8-5
No. 2 -- Michael Reilly/Chris Young (Penn State) def. Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M), 8-2
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. Matt Barry/Roman Trkulja (Penn State), 6-4 DNF

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

First Round Results


• The Wolverines have won their last five matches and seven of their last 10 matches overall.

• Senior Alex Buzzi has won five consecutive matches dating back to a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Minnesota's Eric Frueh on April 11.

• Junior Alex Petrone notched his fourth victory over a ranked foe this season, posting a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over 37th-ranked Leonard Stakhovsky at the No. 1 singles position.

• Today's match, which was moved from the MSU Outdoor Courts to the MSU Indoor Tennis Center due to rain, last three hours and 47 minutes.

• Matches in postseason play are abandoned once the match is clinched.

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