Saturday, Feb. 27 -- at No. 20 Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.), noon
The No. 34-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (3-4) faces No. 20 Wake Forest (5-1) this Saturday (Feb. 27) at the University Indoor Tennis Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. The match will start at noon.
Michigan's trip to Wake Forest will be the second to the state of North Carolina this season. The Wolverines opened the dual-match portion of their schedule Jan. 23-24 in Raleigh against Vanderbilt and North Carolina State.
Last Time Out
Despite winning the doubles point, Michigan closed out its three-match home stand with a 6-1 loss to No. 22 North Carolina last Saturday (Feb. 20). The Wolverines won the doubles point by virtue of wins at No. 1 (from junior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and No. 2 (from the senior tandem of George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) and Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep). The Tar Heels won every singles match.
RadioTennis.com broadcasted the match to a worldwide audience from inside the Varsity Tennis Center. For a given match, the live audio webcast reaches close to 3,000 people.
Junior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) is no stranger to pressure-packed situations. He has clinched a Michigan win on two separate occasions this season by virtue of his victories at the No. 5 position (singles). Both of those wins have come against ranked opponents. Madden defeated No. 53 Charlie Jones (Vanderbilt), 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, in Michigan's season-opening dual match against Vanderbilt (Jan. 23) and defeated No. 73 Blas Moros of Notre Dame, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Feb. 13. Michigan won 4-3 both times.
The Wolverines have won the doubles point in six of their seven matches this season. The No. 2 team of Navas and Sroczynski each have 14 doubles wins this season, most on the team (5-1 in dual matches).
Both are distinguished doubles players. Navas holds a 75-51 (.595) career record in doubles, while Sroczynski earned career doubles win No. 80 against Notre Dame. He is 81-44 (.648).
For his career, Navas has played in 126 doubles matches. Sroczynski has played in 125.
King is proving why he was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country heading into the season. As a freshman, he's been playing consistently at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles with junior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance). He's 11-7 on the season in singles (4-2 in dual matches) and 7-6 in doubles (4-2 in dual matches).
Scouting the Competition
Wake Forest (5-1) has won its last five dual matches, with wins coming against Minnesota (4-2), William & Mary (5-2), Virginia Commonwealth (4-3), East Tennessee State (6-1) and Rice (5-2). Its lone loss was against Kentucky (4-3) at ITA Kick-Off Weekend (Jan. 30-31), the same event that Michigan was at. Though the two teams never faced each other, both played the same teams (each team beat Minnesota and lost to Kentucky).
Wake Forest has two ranked players: Tripper Carleton (No. 74) and Iain Atkinson (No. 107). The Demon Deacons' doubles team of Atkinson and Steven Forman is ranked No. 12 in the country.
U-M vs. Wake Forest
Michigan is 3-2 all-time against Wake Forest. Wake Forest won 6-1 last season in Ann Arbor (March 7, 2009). Navas gave Michigan its only point with a singles win at No. 5.
After spending the first three weeks of February at home, the Wolverines head out on the road for the next three. After facing Wake Forest this weekend, Michigan heads to San Diego, Calif., for a neutral-site showdown with Cal on March 4. The road trip is rounded out against Texas on March 13 in Austin.
U-M in ITA Rankings
Michigan is ranked No. 34 in the latest ITA poll, released Feb. 23. Jung is ranked No. 33 in singles and King is ranked No. 67. Michigan does not have any doubles teams ranked.
Tested Against the Best
Michigan once again faces one of the toughest schedules in the country. This year, the Wolverines will face 18 opponents ranked in the ITA team rankings (the ITA ranks the top 75 teams). A complete table of opponent rankings and date played is listed below:
NOTE: Team rankings are reflected on the most-recent poll (Feb. 23)
|TEAM||OPP. RANKING||MATCH DATE/RESULT|
|Vanderbilt||39||W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)|
|North Carolina State||47||L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)|
|Kentucky||8||L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)|
|Minnesota||37||W, 4-2 (Jan. 31)
AND March 27 (ANN ARBOR)
|Pepperdine||16||L, 5-2 (Feb. 7)|
|Notre Dame||41||W, 4-3 (Feb. 13)|
|North Carolina||22||L, 6-1 (Feb. 20)|
|Wake Forest||20||Feb. 27 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)|
|California||15||March 4 (San Diego, Calif.)|
|Texas||4||March 13 (Austin, Texas)|
|Stanford||14||March 25 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Iowa||55||March 28 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Northwestern||44||April 3 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Wisconsin||31||April 4 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Penn State||52||April 9 (State College, Pa.)|
|Ohio State||3||April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)|
|Purdue||69||April 18 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Illinois||13||April 23 (Champaign, Ill.)|
|Indiana||50||April 25 (Bloomington, Ind.)|
Navas Elected Captain
Navas was chosen as the team's captain 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.
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.
Rossi is now ranked No. 7 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net, while Bernstein checks in at No. 16. Michigan's class was ranked third best in the country by the website for its winter recruiting rankings.
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. Meanwhile, Rossi won the Midwest Winter Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Leader of the Wolverines
Bruce Berque is in 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 84-55, 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.
He is assisted by associate head coach Sean Maymi, who is in his fourth season, and volunteer assistant Scott Oudsema, who is in his first.
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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.
Michigan continues its road path next Thursday (March 4), when it faces Cal-Berkeley in neutral-site San Diego, Calif. The match is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. PST.