May 13, 2012
N O T E S
With today's loss, U-M falls to 0-2 in the all-time series against Mississippi.
U-M has advanced to the NCAA second round or better in five of eight seasons during head coach Bruce Berque's tenure.
With its 18-8 dual-match record, Michigan earned its most season wins since posting 20 in 2008.
Freshman Alex Petrone ended his season with an overall 24-11 singles record, claiming a share of the sixth position on Michigan's list of most wins by a freshman. He is tied with William Farah (24, 1996) and Michael Leach (24, 1979).
Junior Evan King has won 21 of his last 22 singles matches
King is 14-6 against ranked opponents this season. He owns six wins against players ranked in the nation's top 20.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On Michigan's effort ... "They went for it, and they were competing to win. That was a special thing to see them do that. Everyone fought right until the end, so that's what I wanted for them as they played their last match. I was a little curious to see how they'd respond after losing the doubles. I challenged them to stick with it. I knew they'd try their best physically, but would they hold onto that belief mentally? I really think they did, and you could see that in some of the results."
On the doubles competition ... "The only thing we didn't do was close out the doubles point. We were in control through most of it. We were up a break the whole time at No. 3, where the freshmen did a terrific job; they didn't get broken once that match. We were up two breaks at No. 1 but couldn't hold on, and at No. 2, we were neck and neck before losing right at the end. We were in pretty good position with that doubles point, but I have to give a lot of credit to Mississippi for coming back."
On Alex Petrone's upset win ... "That was a huge win for Alex and for the team. He's just a freshman playing No. 2, and Marcel Thiemann is a senior, No. 20 in the country, and he's been through this for years as part of a great program. Alex started off a little shaky and had a couple tough holds, but he kept it together and had great composure when he was struggling. Once he got deep into the match, he just took off and was tough as nails. That was very impressive, and looking ahead to next year, that win will give him a lot of confidence."
On Michigan's bottom half of the lineup ... "Alex Buzzi had a close first set and broke for the set, then got up fairly early in the second and was serving at 4-3 [when the match ended]. That was a great effort for him. Barrett [Franks] didn't play a great first set, won the second and unfortunately got broken once in the third. To his credit, he was sick as a dog yesterday, and I didn't even know if he'd be able to play today. He was struggling a little bit with his energy, but given the circumstances, he did a great job to fight back. Mike [Zhu] was toe-to-toe. Mississippi's guys at No. 4 and No. 5 had really big serves and big weapons, and it was tough for us to stay with them. I was proud of the way they all fought."
On ending the 2012 season ... "Everyone is upset right now, because it was so close and likely to be a 4-3 match, in which a point or two in doubles could have turned it for us. When you get that close and don't get it, it's going to sting for a little bit. But I think we can really build on it. There was a lot of pressure on these guys all year. We were playing with only seven healthy bodies all year and came to the NCAA Tournament with six, so there wasn't much breathing room. But none of these guys ever settled into a big slump. They were all pretty resilient. We asked a lot of them. They played a tough schedule. I think given all the circumstances, they should be very proud of themselves. I think this will really carry us into the summer and into next year."