Weekly Release #12: vs. Northwestern, vs. Wisconsin

March 30, 2010

Saturday, April 3 -- vs. Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 4 -- vs. Wisconsin (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Results/Live Video

The University of Michigan men's tennis team (7-7, 3-0 Big Ten) concludes its six-match home stand this weekend when it hosts Northwestern and Wisconsin on consecutive days at the Varsity Tennis Center. The match against Northwestern on Saturday (April 3) will begin at 1 p.m., with the match against Wisconsin on Sunday (April 4) starting at noon.

The Great Outdoors
With only three home matches left on the season, the Wolverines are hoping to make it outdoors to play tennis this weekend after spending the entire home slate indoors. Temperatures are expected to remain in the low 70s with sunshine the rest of the week, with a slight chance of rain on Sunday. So if you plan on coming out to the Varsity Tennis Center for either (or both) of this weekend's matches, plan to be outside. The William Clay Ford Outdoor Courts are located adjacent to the Preston Robert Tisch Building at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Last Time Out
The Wolverines went 2-1 last week, earning victories over Big Ten foes Minnesota and Iowa but losing to No. 15 Stanford last Thursday (March 25). Michigan recaptured the Little Brown Jug with its victory against Minnesota. Junior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) returned to the lineup after sitting out against Michigan State (March 20) and went 2-1 in singles (all at No. 2).

The Michigan Daily covered all three matches. Read Evan Karpus' account of the Stanford match and Brian Mechanick and Andrew Haddad's recap of the Minnesota and Iowa matches.

Attendance Race
Through the month of February, Michigan ranked third in the country in average attendance, drawing 356 per match. Only Virginia (738) and Mississippi (446) rank ahead of the Wolverines in that category. The ITA will release new figures after each school submits its own attendance numbers. Look for that soon.

Big Ten Outlook
Michigan sits atop the Big Ten standings with a 3-0 record. Though the Big Ten slate is still fresh, only two other conference squads are undefeated: newly ranked No. 2 Ohio State (2-0 Big Ten, 18-1 overall) and No. 15 Illinois (2-0, 11-6 overall). The Wolverines will face both squads on the road later this season.

Full Big Ten Standings

Double Trouble
The Wolverines have been masterful in doubles, winning the point in 11 of their 14 dual matches. The senior tandem of Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) and George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) each have 19 doubles wins this season, most on the team (10-3 in dual matches). The two have alternated between the top two doubles spots this season (2-1 at No. 1; 8-2 at No. 2).

Both are distinguished doubles players that have earned career doubles win No. 80 this season. Navas got his on Sunday (March 28) against Iowa, making him 80-54 (.597) for his career, while Sroczynski, who is 86-47 (.646) for his career, earned career doubles win No. 80 against Notre Dame on Feb. 13.

Navas has played in 134 doubles matches. Sroczynski has played in 133.

Under Pressure
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.

Madden has won his last four singles matches and seven of nine overall. He leads the team with 16 singles wins (9-5 in dual matches).

Frosh Phenom
Freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) is proving why he was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country heading into the season. He has played the last three matches at No. 1 singles and is 15-10 on the season in singles (7-5 in dual matches) and 11-9 in doubles (8-5 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.

In case you missed it, the USTA recently did a Q&A with King. [ Check it out ]

Muil Steps Up
Against Michigan State on March 20, 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 back in early January. 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 writeup on Muil following the match. [ Read More ]

Scouting the Competition
Northwestern -- Northwestern is ranked No. 48 in the newest ITA poll and sits at 8-7 on the season. The Wildcats are 0-2 in Big Ten play, having lost matches to Indiana (6-1) and Illinois (5-2). Northwestern has lost four of five and is only 1-3 against nationally ranked opponents. Sophomore Joshua Graves is 8-6 at No. 1 singles this season.

Wisconsin -- Wisconsin is ranked No. 30 in the newest ITA poll and sits at 10-5 on the season. The Badgers are 1-1 in Big Ten play, having lost to Illinois (4-3) and defeated Indiana (5-2). Wisconsin has won four of its last five.

U-M vs. Opponents
Michigan holds a 65-25-1 (.714) record all-time against Northwestern, including two wins over the Wildcats last season. The Wolverines won the regular-season matchup, 4-3, in Evanston (March 29, 2009) and then won again in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, 4-2, in Ann Arbor (April 24, 2009). Michigan has won eight straight dual matches against Northwestern.

The Wolverines have been just as dominant in dual matches against Wisconsin, holding a 70-9-1 (.875) record all-time. Wisconsin got the better of Michigan last season in Madison in a tough 4-3 loss.

U-M in ITA Rankings
Michigan is ranked No. 26 in the latest ITA poll, released March 30. Jung moved up one spot in the singles rankings to No. 41, while King moved to No. 97. Both of Michigan's ranked duos teams saw big jumps this week, as Navas/Sroczynski moved to No. 33 (from No. 46) and Jung/King moved to No. 43 (from No. 52).

New rankings will be released on April 6.

Tested Against the Best
Michigan once again faces one of the toughest schedules in the country. This season 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 30)

Michigan 26  
Vanderbilt 35 W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)
North Carolina State 40 L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)
Kentucky 10 L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)



W, 4-2 (Jan. 31)
W, 5-2 (March 27)
Pepperdine 23 L, 5-2 (Feb. 7)
Notre Dame 36 W, 4-3 (Feb. 13)
North Carolina 20 L, 6-1 (Feb. 20)
Wake Forest 24 L, 5-2 (Feb. 27)
California 17 W, 5-2 (March 4)
Texas 5 L, 6-1 (March 13)
Stanford 7 L, 5-2 (March 25)
Iowa 73 W, 6-1 (March 28)
Northwestern 48 April 3 (ANN ARBOR)
Wisconsin 30 April 4 (ANN ARBOR)
Penn State 58 April 9 (State College, Pa.)
Ohio State 2 April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)
Illinois 15 April 23 (Champaign, Ill.)
Indiana 41 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.

Future Wolverines
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 89-57, including a 37-16 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.

Stay Connected
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.

Become a fan of Michigan Tennis on Facebook. Search "Michigan Men's Tennis" when you log on and become a fan today!

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.

Up Next...
Michigan hits the road next weekend. The Wolverines will face Penn State next Friday (April 9) at 3 p.m. in State College, Pa., before heading to Columbus, Ohio, to face rival No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday (April 11). The match with Ohio State is scheduled to begin at noon.