Weekly #11: Wolverines Road Trip to LSU, Michigan State

March 15, 2011

Big Ten Weekly Release

Thursday, March 17 -- at LSU (Baton Rouge, La.), 1 p.m. CDT
Live Scoring
Sunday, March 20 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), Noon

The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (7-4) heads back out on the road for a pair of matches this weekend. First, the Wolverines face LSU (5-8, 2-2 SEC), listed No. 44, on Thursday (March 17) at 1 p.m. CDT in Baton Rouge, La., before opening Big Ten play at Michigan State (13-1), listed No. 42, on Sunday (March 20) at noon in East Lansing, Mich.

Last Time Out
Michigan returned home last Friday (March 11) but lost to Tulsa, 4-3. The Wolverines won the doubles point for only the third time all season but lost four of six singles matches. Sophomore Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and freshman Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) were the Wolverines' lone victors in singles, winning at Nos. 1 and 5, respectively.

It was King's eighth straight singles victory, and the third in a row for Rossi.

[ Recaps: MGoBlue | Michigan Daily ]

Dual-Match Format
This weekend's matches 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.

The Lineup
Here is Michigan's projected lineup, based on the last match vs. Tulsa:

No. 1 -- #20 Evan King (17-6 overall, 10-1 in duals)
No. 2 -- #60 Jason Jung (15-9 overall, 7-4 in duals)
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein (14-12 overall, 5-6 in duals)
No. 4 -- Barrett Franks (12-11 overall, 7-4 in duals)
No. 5 -- Justin Rossi (11-11 overall, 4-5 in duals)
No. 6 -- Chris Madden (0-2 overall, 0-2 in duals)

No. 1 -- #18 Jason Jung/Evan King (10-6 overall, 6-3 in duals)
No. 2 -- Chris Madden/Barrett Franks (0-2 overall, 0-2 in duals)
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein/Chris Cha (9-9 overall, 3-4 in duals)

[ Statistics | Match-By-Match ]

Strength At The Top
Through the Tulsa match, Michigan is a combined 17-5 at the top two spots of the singles lineup (Evan King, Jason Jung) and 21-22 at the other four spots (Shaun Bernstein, Justin Rossi, Chris Cha, Barrett Franks, and Chris Madden).

In doubles, the Wolverines hold a 7-4 record at No.1 and 5-16 combined record at the No. 2 and 3 spots.

Into the Fire
Michigan's four-member freshman class is getting a trial by fire this season, each playing important roles in the lineup. Shaun Bernstein, Barrett Franks and Justin Rossi have each found a home in Michigan's singles lineup, and each hold winning singles records. Together, the three have combined to go 38-34 (.527). Alex Buzzi has yet to play singles in a dual match, but including his record from tournaments puts the freshman class record at 47-41 (.534).

[ Article: Bernstein Leads By Example (Michigan Daily) ]

Double Change
Michigan is 3-8 in winning the doubles point this season. It won it for the second straight match against Tulsa last Friday. Despite its struggles, the Wolverines are 2-1 when they win the point and 5-3 when they lose the point.

The nation's No. 18-ranked team of Evan King and Jason Jung reunited after a two-match break against Tulsa, beating the nation's No. 22-ranked team of Ashley Watling and Clifford Marsland, 8-5.

[ Article: Wolverines Find Positives In Loss (Michigan Daily) ]

Top Dog
Last season's Big Ten Freshman of the Year, sophomore Evan King is 10-1 this season in dual matches, all at No. 1, and has won eight straight matches (six coming against ranked opponents). King has been at his best at No. 1 throughout his short career, going 15-3 at the top spot in the lineup.

King also leads the team in singles wins (17).

Jason Sees Double
Senior Jason Jung is one win away from moving into a tie for sixth all-time at Michigan for career doubles wins. He currently has 82, one behind former Wolverine Andrew Mazlin (2006-09).

Career Doubles Wins at Michigan

T1. Brian Hung (2004-07)      90
    Matko Maravic (2005-08)
    Mike Sroczynski (2007-10)
T4. Eric Friedler (1973-76)   84
    George Navas (2007-10)
 6. Andrew Mazlin (2006-09)   83
 7. Jason Jung (2008-Present) 82

A Reprieve
After coming home for one match, Michigan goes back out on the road for four consecutive road matches. In addition to facing LSU and Michigan State this weekend, Michigan will also play Purdue and Indiana next weekend in the Hoosier State.

On the Road, No Problem
The Wolverines are 4-1 on the road this season. After dropping a match at Duke, now ranked No. 10, U-M has rattled off four straight road victories.

[ Schedule ]

Scouting The Competition
LSU --LSU is 5-8 on the season and 2-2 in SEC dual-match play. The Tigers have lost six of their last eight matches heading into Thursday's match. They are 4-2 at 'Dub' Robinson Stadium. Neal Skupski is the Tigers' only ranked singles player (No. 91), while Skupski and Sebastian Carlsson are ranked No. 12 in doubles.

Michigan and LSU met this season at the Key Biscayne Individuals back on Jan. 7-9 in Miami, Fla. Here were the results from the event, which did not use team scoring:

Evan King (U-M) d. Neal Skupski (LSU), 6-4, 6-3
No. 35 Jason Jung d. No. 102 Mark Bowtell (LSU), 6-2, 6-4
Sebastian Carlsson (LSU) d. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-7 (4), 6-2, (10-2)
Olivier Borsos (LSU) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-3, 6-4
Chris Cha (U-M) d. Stefan Szacinski (LSU), 6-2, 3-6, (10-2)
Julien Gauthier (LSU) d. Barrett Franks (U-M), 6-4, 6-4
Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Tom Knights (LSU), 1-6, 6-2, (10-3)
Roger Anderson (LSU) d. Duncan Muil (U-M), 6-3, 4-6, (10-8)

No. 27 Sebastian Carlsson/Neal Skupski (LSU) d. Barrett Franks/Justin Rossi (U-M), 8-2
Evan King/Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU), 8-6
Shaun Bernstein/Chris Cha (U-M) d. Olivier Borsos/Roger Anderson (LSU), 8-2
Jason Jung/Duncan Muil (U-M) d. Mark Bowtell/Julien Gauthier (LSU), 8-5

Michigan is 0-3 all-time against LSU, with the two teams meeting last on Feb. 10, 2006, in Ann Arbor, a 5-2 win by LSU.

Michigan State --Michigan State is 13-1 on the season, and is ranked No. 42 in the most-recent ITA poll, released on March 15. The Spartans are winners of four straight, and have outscored opponents in dual-match play, 83-15. Michigan State does not have any ranked singles players or doubles tandems.

Michigan has dominated its in-state rivals, owning a 91-19 record all-time against Michigan State. The Wolverines have won six straight against Michigan State, including a 6-1 victory last season in Ann Arbor. Michigan has not lost to its in-state rivals since the 2003-04 season.


U-M in the National Rankings
Michigan fell four spots to No. 16 in the most-recent ITA poll, released on March 15.

With his recent stretch of play, King continued to climb in the singles polls and is now ranked No. 20, while Jung is No. 60. The pair is ranked No. 18 in doubles.

[ Rankings: Team | Singles | Doubles ]

Challenging Schedule
Michigan once again has one of the most difficult schedules of any team in the nation. The Wolverines have already faced seven top-25 teams, scoring wins in five of those matchups:

Wins Losses
No. 25 Virginia Tech (1/29) No. 5 Texas (1/22)
No. 22 Wake Forest (2/5) No. 14 Duke (1/29)
No. 23 Washington (2/11)  
No. 23 Notre Dame (2/19)  
No. 6 Duke (2/26)  

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 56-17 (.767) since the 2005 season and is 116-37 (.758) overall at the complex.

The Captain
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 73-61 record in singles and an 82-52 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 tied for seventh all-time in school history in career doubles wins.
Future Wolverines
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. 15 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.

[ Signing Day Release ]

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 103-66, 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.
[ 2010-11 Men's Tennis Yearbook ] [ Record Book ]

Up Next
The road trip concludes next weekend, as Michigan swings through the Hoosier State, playing at Purdue on Friday, March 25, at 3 p.m. and at Indiana on Sunday, March 27, at1 p.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423