Jan. 10, 2011
Saturday, Jan. 15 -- vs. Western Michigan (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
The No. 25-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team opens up the dual-match portion of the schedule this Saturday (Jan. 15) at 6 p.m., as it welcomes Western Michigan to the Varsity Tennis Center.
This Saturday's dual match will be a contest for the best-of-seven team points. The dual will begin with three doubles matches consisting of eight-game pro sets. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best of three tie-break sets and worth one point towards the team competition. The overall dual match will be decided when one team secures four total points. Matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.
Last Time Out
Michigan opened the second half of the 2010-11 season at the Key Biscayne Individuals last weekend, competing against players from No. 5 Texas, No. 40 Denver and No. 45 LSU in individual action. For the weekend, Michigan players won nine singles matches and five doubles matches. Sophomores Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) won two singles and two doubles matches apiece.
Scouting The Competition
Western Michigan -- Western Michigan was 21-11 in the 2009-10 season, reaching the NCAA Championships for the fifth straight season and eighth time in program history. Western Michigan joined Michigan at the same pod at the NCAA Championships last season, losing to host Ohio State, 4-0.
In tournament play this season, Western Michigan is led by Casey Cullen, holding a 14-3 singles record. As a team, the Broncos have gone 76-44 (.633) in singles action and 33-18 (.647) in doubles. They do not have any ranked players or doubles teams.
Saturday's match marks the 60th meeting between Michigan and Western Michigan, with the Wolverines holding a commanding 51-8 (.864) advantage in the all-time series. U-M holds a seven-match winning streak against the Broncos, including dual-match wins in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and a 4-1 triumph in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Championships (May 10, 2008). Western Michigan's last win over Michigan came on Jan. 18, 2003, when the Broncos earned a tight 4-3 win to spoil U-M's season opener.
Wolverines in Season Openers
Michigan will aim for its eighth straight season-opening victory when it takes the court against Western Michigan on Saturday. Five of those wins have come against Western Michigan, with Michigan earning victories in 2004 (6-1), 2005 (5-2), 2006 (4-3), 2008 (7-0) and 2009 (6-1). The other victories in that stretch came against Marquette in 2007 (W, 7-0) and Vanderbilt in 2010 (W, 4-3). Western Michigan handed U-M a loss in its 2003 season opener (4-3). Michigan is 5-1 in season openers under head coach Bruce Berque.
Michigan at the Varsity Tennis Center
The Wolverines have been tough to beat at the Varsity Tennis Center since the facility opened in 1997. Michigan is 53-14 (.791) since the 2005 season and is 113-34 (.768) overall at the complex.
Looking Back On 2010
Michigan went 14-11 last season, reaching the second round of the NCAA Championships in its fifth straight NCAA appearance. The Wolverines went 8-2 in conference play, finishing third in the Big Ten, and reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Championship in Bloomington, Ind. Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and Evan King were both All-Big Ten selections, while King also received the Big Ten Freshmen of the Year award, joining former U-M tennis greats MaliVai Washington (1988) and Dan Brakus (1991) as the only other players in program history to receive the honor since it was created in 1988.
U-M In The National Rankings
Michigan is ranked No. 25 in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings of the season, released on Jan. 4. Jason Jung is ranked No. 35 in the singles poll, while Jung and Evan King are ranked No. 28 in the doubles poll.
[ Rankings ]
Michigan's four freshmen got a very good taste of collegiate competition this fall. One of the highlights of the fall season was Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') and Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) winning the doubles title at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in late October. The freshmen combined for a 26-18 record in singles competition during the fall slate, including eight wins each by Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK).
Senior Jason Jung was voted as team captain for the 2010-11 season by his teammates. Jung enjoyed a fantastic season last year as a junior, including being named an All-Big Ten selection and qualifying for the NCAA Championships in both singles and doubles (with Evan King). Off the court, Jung was recognized as the national and Midwest regional winner of the ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship and was the Big Ten Conference's male nominee for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
For his career, Jung owns a 66-57 (.536) record in singles and a 75-49 (.604) record in doubles, playing atop the lineup for most of his career. His 24 doubles wins last season were tied for seventh most all-time at Michigan, and he is currently eighth all-time in school history in career doubles wins.
Michigan inked two top prep players -- Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Eli Brown (Toronto, Ontario/City Academy) -- to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period this fall. Petrone is rated as a blue-chip recruit and No. 16 nationally by the service www.tennisrecruiting.net., while Brown won the Cuba ITF singles title and Dominican Republic ITF doubles title last year as a junior.
Leader Of The Wolverines
Bruce Berque is in his seventh season as the head coach of the University of Michigan men's tennis team. He has taken the Wolverines to five straight NCAA Championships appearances, including the Sweet 16 in 2008. Berque owns a career dual-meet record of 96-61, including a 42-18 mark in Big Ten play. In addition, the Wolverines have finished in the top half of the Big Ten in each of Berque's first five years at the helm, finishing no lower than fourth place.
He is assisted by associate head coach Sean Maymi, who is in his fifth season, and volunteer assistant Scott Oudsema, who is in his second.
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Yearbook & Record Book
For the second year in a row, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need and it was just added to MGoBlue.com. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook.
Michigan will look to avenge its losses at the Key Biscayne Individuals when it hosts Texas, currently ranked No. 5 nationally, next Saturday (Jan. 22) at the Varsity Tennis Center. The match will begin at 6 p.m.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423