Jan. 19, 2010
Saturday, Jan. 23 -- vs. Vanderbilt (Raleigh, N.C.), 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24 -- at North Carolina State (Raleigh, N.C.), 11 a.m.
The season rolls on for the No. 33-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team, as it travels to Raleigh, N.C., this weekend for dual matches with No. 55 Vanderbilt (Saturday, Jan. 23) and No. 52 North Carolina State (Sunday, Jan. 24) at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center. Michigan faces Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. on Saturday and North Carolina State at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Scouting the Competition
Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt began the second half of the season by sweeping a pair of opponents, Belmont and Chattanooga, on Jan. 16. They won both matches 7-0. Bryant Salcedo and Vijay Paul scored wins at positions one and two, respectively. The Commodores are coached by Ian Duvenhage and ranked No. 55 by the ITA.
North Carolina State -- North Carolina State also earned a sweep last weekend, defeating Gardner-Webb and North Carolina Central. Dominic Hodgson and Rob Lowe switched off at positions one and two over the two-day event, but both got singles wins. The Wolfpack are coached by John Choboy and are ranked No. 52 by the ITA.
Last Time Out
Michigan kicked off the second half of the season two weeks ago at the Key Biscayne Individuals (Fri-Sun., Jan. 8-10) in Key Biscayne, Fla. In a non-team scoring competition, Michigan started the competition by taking four of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches from Denver on Friday (Jan. 8), before losing five of six in singles and all three in doubles to Texas on Sunday (Jan. 10). Due to inclement weather, play was postponed on Saturday (Jan. 9), but Michigan got in doubles matches on Friday with LSU (lost all three).
Junior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) was the Wolverines' top performer at the event, winning two singles matches and one in doubles. For his efforts, he was named Big Ten Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week on Jan. 12, his first career weekly laurel from the conference.
Fall Season Recap
The Wolverines competed in five events during the fall season:
(Sept. 18-20: Napa Valley Invitational) Freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Laurel Springs Prep) kicked off his collegiate career with a runner-up finish at the event, losing to Jonathan Dahan (Cal) in the finals. Fellow freshman Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) also had a memorable beginning to his time as a Wolverine, as he won his first match after getting blanked in the first set 6-0, finishing at 2-1 on the weekend in singles. Senior Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) won all three of his doubles matches.
(Oct. 5-11: ITA All-American Qualifying/Main Draw) Out of the 64 participants in the main draw, Jung reached the quarterfinals at the event, knocking off two ranked opponents along the way. King was in Main Draw Qualifying and won his first match before falling in the second round.
(Oct. 15-19: Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional) Jung reached the doubles final with George Navas and advanced to the semifinals in the singles draw. Junior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) reached the Round of 16 in the doubles draw with Sroczynski. King reached the quarterfinals in singles.
(Oct. 30-Nov. 2: Big Ten Indoors) Madden reached the final in singles after defeating five opponents from Big Ten schools and finished runner-up. Michigan debut for sophomore Duncan Muil (Lake Jackson, Texas/The Kings School), who scored two victories in doubles.
(Nov. 5-6: ITA National Indoors) Jung was chosen as one of 32 players nationally to participate in the main draw. He defeated No. 67 Patricio Alvarado (Southern Miss) before losing in the second round to No. 6 Dimitar Kutrovsky (Texas).
U-M in the ITA National Rankings
Michigan came in at No. 33 in the first ITA poll of the season, released on Jan. 5. It also finished last season at the No. 33 spot.
In singles, Jung was ranked No. 50, while King made his first appearance at No. 73. Michigan was not represented in the doubles rankings.
King and Cha had successful beginnings to their collegiate careers at Michigan this fall. King went 6-3 in singles, including a 3-1 run at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships as the No. 7 seed while going an even 2-2 in doubles. Cha went 4-5 in singles and 4-4 in doubles during the fall campaign.
At Key Biscayne, King was the only rookie to score a win David Simson (Denver) at Key Biscayne, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. Cha and Muil did not get a win in either singles or doubles.
Navas Elected Captain
Navas was chosen as the team's captian for the 2009-10 season by his teammates. During the fall season, Navas went 2-3 in singles action and reached the doubles final at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships with Jung. An exceptional student, Navas was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete for the 2008-09 season and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. He is one of two seniors on this year's roster, along with Sroczynski.
Several Wolverines are nearing milestones in their respective careers. Jung needs only four more singles victories to reach the 50-50 club (at least 50 victories in both singles and doubles), while Navas looks to join the 50-75 club this season.
Career records for Michigan's four upperclassmen are shown below:
Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) have signed National Letters of Intent to play tennis at Michigan beginning in the 2010-11 academic year. Both Bernstein and Rossi are rated as blue-chip recruits by tennisrecruiting.net.
In December, Bernstein was unseeded at the Coffee Bowl (Copa Cafe -- Costa Rica Junior ITF Tournament), but managed to reach the U-18 singles semifinal. He was the last player from the U.S. standing. Rossi won the Midwest Winter Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Rossi is now ranked No. 7 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net, while Bernstein is No. 15. Both are "blue chip" recruits.
Leader of the Wolverines
Bruce Berque enters his sixth season as the head coach of the University of Michigan men's tennis team. He has taken the Wolverines to four-straight NCAA Championships, including the Sweet 16 in 2008. Berque owns a career dual-meet record of 82-51, including a 34-16 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.
Looking Back On 2009...
Heading into the 2010 season, Michigan will look to build on its strong finish to last season. The Maize and Blue win eight of its final 11 matches, including a 4-3 upset of then-No. 11 Illinois, which helped propel the Wolverines to the second round of the NCAA Championship, where they fell in a very competitive match to eventual runner-up Ohio State. Earlier in the year, Michigan claimed convincing victories over No. 25 California and Virginia Commonwealth to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time since 1989. The fall campaign was highlighted by Jason Jung and Mike Sroczynski's doubles title at the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships, which was a first for the U-M program.
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2009-10 Record Book and Yearbook!
Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, 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. [ Check out the Yearbook and Record Book ]
Michigan is back on the road next weekend for the National Team Indoors Qualifier in Lexington, Ky. The Wolverines are slated to take on Kentucky on Saturday (Jan. 30) at 3 p.m. and face either Wake Forest or Minnesota on Sunday (Jan. 31). Sunday's match time will be announced later.