March 23, 2010
Thursday, March 25 -- vs. #15 Stanford (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Live Results/Live Video
Saturday, March 27 -- vs. Minnesota (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Results/Live Video
Sunday, March 28 -- vs. Iowa (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Results/Live Video
The No. 28-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team (5-6, 1-0 Big Ten) welcomes three opponents to the Varsity Tennis Center this week, staring with No. 15 Stanford on Thursday (March 25). It will be the Wolverines' final non-conference dual match of the season. Play will begin at 6 p.m.
Michigan returns to Big Ten Conference play this weekend, hosting Minnesota on Saturday (March 27) and Iowa on Sunday (March 28). Both matches will begin at noon.
Last Time Out
Michigan opened Big Ten Conference play against in-state rival Michigan State last Saturday (March 20), winning 6-1 in convincing fashion. It was the Wolverines' first home match in nearly one month. Without top player Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance), Michigan tweaked its lineup by moving everyone up one spot but still managed to win five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches. [ Recaps: MGoBlue.Com | Michigan Daily ]
Muil Steps Up
Against Michigan State, sophomore Duncan Muil (Lake Jackson, Texas/The Kings School) was inserted in a dual-match lineup for the first time in his collegiate career. Prior to the match, Muil (pronounced MULE) had not seen competition since the Key Biscayne Individuals (Jan. 8-10). He played at No. 3 doubles with freshman Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) and at No. 6 singles against Clark Richardson (MSU). He lost both.
Emily Bonchi of the Michigan Daily was on hand against the Spartans and did a write-up on Muil following the match. [ Check it Out Here ]
The Wolverines have been masterful in doubles, winning the point in nine of their 11 dual matches. The No. 2 team senior Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) and senior George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) each have 17 doubles wins this season, most on the team (8-2 in dual matches). The two played at No. 1 doubles against Michigan State for the first time this season, winning 8-6.
Both are distinguished doubles players. Navas holds a 78-52 (.600) career record in doubles, while Sroczynski earned career doubles win No. 80 against Notre Dame on Feb. 13. He is 84-45 (.651).
For his career, Navas has played in 130 doubles matches. Sroczynski has played in 129.
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 Jung. He's 13-9 on the season in singles (6-4 in dual matches) and 9-8 in doubles (6-4 in dual matches). King clinched the win against Cal on March 4 with his win at No. 2 singles over No. 59 Christoffer Konigsfeldt, 6-4, 7-5.
Coincidentally, King will celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday against Stanford.
In case you missed it, the USTA recently did a Q&A with King. [ Check it out here ]
Scouting the Competition
Stanford -- Stanford is ranked No. 15 in the nation, currently sitting at 8-3 on the season. Its doubles tandem of Ryan Thacher and Bradley Klahn is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Cardinal's other doubles team of Richard Wire and Alex Clayton is ranked No. 30. In singles, Stanford has three players ranked, including Klahn (No. 8), Clayton (No. 35) and Thacher (No. 65).
Minnesota -- Minnesota is ranked No. 39 and is 6-5 on the season. On March 17, Minnesota defeated Pepperdine, 4-3. Sebastian Gallego (No. 76) and Tobias Wernet (No. 121) are the Golden Gophers' ranked singles players, while Gallego and Phillip Arndt are the team's only ranked doubles tandem (at No. 37).
Iowa -- Iowa is ranked No. 66 and is 8-4 on the season after beating Pacific and Wichita State last weekend. Prior to those two wins, the Hawkeyes had been on three-match losing streak. Sunday's match serves as the conference opener for Iowa. Marc Bruche has been playing at No. 1 singles throughout the dual-match season and holds a 6-5 record.
U-M vs. Opponents
Michigan has not met Stanford in a dual match since the 1979 season. The two teams first met in 1969. The Wolverines are 4-0 all-time against the Cardinal.
Michigan is 50-27-2 (.632) all-time against Minnesota. The two teams met earlier this season in the consolation round for ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Lexington, Ky., with Michigan coming from behind to win, 4-2. The Wolverines won the doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3, as well as three singles matches and have won three of their last four against Minnesota.
The Wolverines have dominated Iowa in dual-match play, going 44-8 (.846) all-time against the Hawkeyes. Michigan has won five of its last six against Iowa but lost to both Minnesota and Iowa on the road last season, both by a score of 4-3.
Home Again... For A While
Last Saturday's match against Michigan State was 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 (W, 6-1)
• 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 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 and Navas (U-M #2) are No. 46, while Jung and 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 19 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 23)
||W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)
|North Carolina State
||L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)
||L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)
||W, 4-2 (Jan. 31) AND March 27 (ANN ARBOR)
||L, 5-2 (Feb. 7)
||W, 4-3 (Feb. 13)
||L, 6-1 (Feb. 20)
||L, 5-2 (Feb. 27)
||W, 5-2 (March 4)
||L, 6-1 (March 13)
||March 25 (ANN ARBOR)
||March 28 (ANN ARBOR)
||April 3 (ANN ARBOR)
||April 4 (ANN ARBOR)
||April 9 (State College, Pa.)
||April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)
||April 18 (ANN ARBOR)
||April 23 (Champaign, Ill.)
||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 87-56, 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.
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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.
The homestand continues next weekend, as Michigan hosts Northwestern on Saturday (April 3) at 1 p.m. and Wisconsin on Sunday (April 4) at noon.