March 9, 2010
Saturday, March 13 -- at No. 5 Texas (Austin, Texas), 4 p.m. CST
The No. 25-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (4-5) faces off against a top-10 team for the second week in a row, this time squaring off against No. 5 Texas on Saturday (March 13) in Austin, Texas. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. CST.
This is the final match on a three-week road trip for the Wolverines, who open Big Ten play when they return home on March 20 against Michigan State.
Last Time Out
Michigan snapped a two-match losing skid with a 5-2 upset win over No. 10 California last Thursday (March 4) in San Diego, Calif. It was the Wolverines' first outdoor match of the season.
Michigan began the match by winning the doubles point for the eighth time in nine matches, highlighted by the No. 2 doubles senior tandem of George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) and Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep), who took down the nation's 20th-ranked doubles team of Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Nick Andrews, 8-5.
Over in singles, Michigan got wins from freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) at No. 2 (against No. 59 Konigsfeldt), Sroczynski at No. 3 (against No. 73 Jonathan Dahan), junior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) at No. 4 and Navas at No. 5.
The Wolverines have been masterful in doubles, winning the point in eight of their nine dual matches. The No. 2 team Navas and Sroczynskieach have 16 doubles wins this season, most on the team (7-1 in dual matches).
Both are distinguished doubles players. Navas holds a 77-51 (.601) career record in doubles, while Sroczynski earned career doubles win No. 80 against Notre Dame on Feb. 13. He is 83-44 (.653).
For his career, Navas has played in 128 doubles matches. Sroczynski has played in 127.
Madden 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.
King is proving why he was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country heading into the season. For 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 12-8 on the season in singles (5-3 in dual matches) and 8-7 in doubles (5-3 in dual matches). King clinched the win against Cal (March 4) with his win at No. 2 singles over No. 59 Christoffer Konigsfeldt, 6-4, 7-5.
Scouting the Competition
Texas currently sits at No. 5 in the most recent ITA poll with a record of 13-2. The Longhorns are coming off a 9-4 defeat at the hands of top-ranked Virginia last Sunday (March 7).
Texas has five players ranked players in singles, including Dimitar Kutrovsky (No. 7), Ed Corrie (No. 10), Josh Zavala (No. 78), Kellen Damico (No. 95) and Daniel Whitehead (No. 98). In addition, Texas also has four ranked doubles teams: Kutrovsky/Zavala (No. 4), Whitehead/Jean Anderson (No. 19), Damico/Corrie (No. 22) and Whitehead/Alex Hilliard (No. 29).
U-M vs. Texas
Saturday's match marks the 16th meeting between Michigan and Texas, with the Longhorns holding a 12-3 lead in the all-time series. The two teams met last season on Feb. 13, 2009, at the ITA National Indoor Championship in Chicago, Ill., where then-No. 2 Texas claimed the doubles point and three singles matches to win 4-0.
Michigan and Texas met in a non-dual match earlier this season. The two teams joined LSU and Denver at the Key Biscayne Individuals (Jan. 8-10) in Miami, Fla., competing against each other on the final day of competition (Full Recap). Jung scored Michigan's only win in singles, knocking off Damico at No. 2, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Texas won all three doubles matches, as well.
Jung and Kutrovsky previously met in the second round at the ITA National Indoors Tournament in New Haven, Conn. (Nov. 6, 2009). Kutrovsky won 6-2, 6-4. (Full Recap)
On The Road Again...
After spending nearly the entire month of February in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines are at the end of a three-week road trip: at Wake Forest (L, 5-2, Feb. 27), at Cal (W, 5-2, March 4), at Texas (March 13). Michigan will not be on the road again until April 9 (at Penn State).
...But Home Is Close
Michigan returns to the Varsity Tennis Center on March 20, opening conference play against in-state rival Michigan State. After the match against Michigan State, the Wolverines will be at home for five straight dual matches:
March 20 - Michigan State (6 p.m.)
March 25 - Stanford (6 p.m.)
March 27 - Minnesota (noon)
March 28 - Iowa (noon)
April 3 - Northwestern (1 p.m.)
April 4 - Wisconsin (noon)
U-M in ITA Rankings
With its victory against Cal, Michigan is now ranked No. 25 in the latest ITA poll (March 9), up 11 spots from No. 36 last week. Jung is ranked No. 46 in singles and No. 35 in doubles with King. New singles and doubles rankings will be released on March 16.
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 (March 9)
|TEAM||OPP. RANKING||MATCH DATE/RESULT|
|Vanderbilt||27||W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)|
|North Carolina State||40||L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)|
|Kentucky||6||L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)|
|Minnesota||52||W, 4-2 (Jan. 31)
AND March 27 (ANN ARBOR)
|Pepperdine||24||L, 5-2 (Feb. 7)|
|Notre Dame||44||W, 4-3 (Feb. 13)|
|North Carolina||30||L, 6-1 (Feb. 20)|
|Wake Forest||17||L, 5-2 (Feb. 27)|
|California||11||W, 5-2 (March 4)|
|Texas||5||March 13 (Austin, Texas)|
|Stanford||12||March 25 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Iowa||54||March 28 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Northwestern||37||April 3 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Wisconsin||38||April 4 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Penn State||46||April 9 (State College, Pa.)|
|Ohio State||4||April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)|
|Purdue||60||April 18 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Illinois||10||April 23 (Champaign, Ill.)|
|Indiana||43||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 86-55, 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 returns to Ann Arbor on March 20 to open conference play against in-state rival Michigan State. The match will begin at 6 p.m.