March 16, 2010
Saturday, March 20 -- vs. Michigan State (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Live Video/Live Results
The No. 27-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (4-6) returns home this Saturday (March 20), opening up Big Ten Conference play with in-state rival Michigan State inside the Varsity Tennis Center. The match will begin at 6 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Wolverines ended their three-match road trip with a 6-1 loss to No. 5 Texas last Saturday (March 13). Michigan's lone point came at No. 3 singles from senior Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep), as he knocked off a ranked opponent for the second straight week (No. 95 Kellen Damico).
The Wolverines have been masterful in doubles, winning the point in eight of their 10 dual matches. The No. 2 team Sroczynski and senior George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) each have 16 doubles wins this season, most on the team (7-2 in dual matches).
Both are distinguished doubles players. Navas holds a 77-52 (.596) career record in doubles, while Sroczynski earned career doubles win No. 80 against Notre Dame on Feb. 13. He is 83-45 (.648).
For his career, Navas has played in 129 doubles matches. Sroczynski has played in 128.
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.
Freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) 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 12-9 on the season in singles (5-4 in dual matches) and 8-8 in doubles (5-4 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
Michigan State is the first team Michigan has played this year that is not ranked in the ITA Top 75. The Spartans are 11-4 on the season and have won four straight heading into Saturday's match. They have beaten their last four opponents (Butler, IUPUI, Dayton, Eastern Illinois) by a combined score of 25-3.
The Spartans are led by Ronnie Huelwicz at No. 1 singles (9-5) and Denis Bogatov at No. 3 singles (10-2). Their No. 3 doubles team of Bogatov and Clark Richardson are 12-1 in dual matches.
U-M vs. Michigan State
Michigan has dominated its in-state rivals, owning a 90-19 record all-time against Michigan State. The Wolverines have won five straight against Michigan State, including a 7-0 shutout last season in East Lansing. Michigan has not lost to MSU since the 2003-04 season.
Home Again... For A While
Saturday's match against Michigan State is the first of six straight home matches at the Varsity Tennis Center. The other home matches during the two-week period can be found below. Michigan has only one remaining home match after the six below (vs. Purdue on April 18).
• March 20 - Michigan State
• March 25 - Stanford
• March 27 - Minnesota
• March 28 - Iowa
• April 3 - Northwestern
• April 4 - Wisconsin
U-M in ITA Rankings
Michigan is ranked No. 27 in the latest ITA poll, released March 9. New team, singles and doubles rankings will be released on Tuesday (March 16). Jung is ranked No. 42 in singles, while King re-enters the rankings at No. 103.
The Wolverines now have two doubles teams ranked. Sroczynski/Navas (U-M #2) are No. 46, while Jung/King (U-M #1) are No. 52.
Tested Against the Best
Michigan once again faces one of the toughest schedules in the country. This year, the Wolverines will face 17 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 16)
|TEAM||OPP. RANKING||MATCH DATE/RESULT|
|Vanderbilt||32||W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)|
|North Carolina State||36||L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)|
|Kentucky||9||L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)|
|Minnesota||51||W, 4-2 (Jan. 31)
AND March 27 (ANN ARBOR)
|Pepperdine||24||L, 5-2 (Feb. 7)|
|Notre Dame||38||W, 4-3 (Feb. 13)|
|North Carolina||23||L, 6-1 (Feb. 20)|
|Wake Forest||21||L, 5-2 (Feb. 27)|
|California||15||W, 5-2 (March 4)|
|Texas||5||L, 6-1 (March 13)|
|Stanford||13||March 25 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Iowa||53||March 28 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Northwestern||37||April 3 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Wisconsin||34||April 4 (ANN ARBOR)|
|Penn State||44||April 9 (State College, Pa.)|
|Ohio State||4||April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)|
|Illinois||11||April 23 (Champaign, Ill.)|
|Indiana||47||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 86-56, 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.
Michigan tennis is now on Twitter. Sign up for Twitter and follow the Wolverines (michigan_tennis) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.
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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 has three home matches next week, beginning with Stanford on Thursday (March 25), its last non-conference opponent of the season. The Wolverines also face Minnesota on Saturday, March 27, and Iowa on Sunday, March 28.