April 6, 2010
Friday, April 9 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 11 -- at No. 2 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), Noon
The University of Michigan men's tennis team (9-7, 5-0 Big Ten) hits the road this weekend for the first time in nearly a month, as it takes on a pair of conference foes. The Wolverines will face off against Penn State on Friday (April 9) at 3 p.m. in State College, Pa., before facing archrival and No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday (April 11) at noon in Columbus, Ohio.
Scouting the Competition
Penn State -- Penn State is 12-6 on the season (1-3 in Big Ten play) and is ranked No. 63 by the ITA. While the Nittany Lions do not have any ranked players in singles or doubles, they have three players with double-digit win totals in singles. Sophomore Eddie Bourchier is 11-4 in singles (7-4 at No. 1), while Guillaume St-Maurice and Bryan Welnetz each have 17 wins on the season (13 each in dual matches).
Ohio State -- No. 2 Ohio State is 20-1 on the season (4-0 in Big Ten play) and became the Big Ten's first 20-win team after shutting out Minnesota, 7-0, last Sunday. The Buckeyes have won 57 consecutive conference matches and are 108-5 in its last 113 conference dual matches (including postseason play). Ohio State has five players ranked in singles: Chase Buchanon (No. 12), Justin Kronauge (No. 36), Dino Marcan (No. 88), Shuhei Uzawa (No. 113) and Steven Williams (No. 122). Marcan and Buchanon are the Buckeyes' only doubles team ranked (at No. 34).
U-M vs. Opponents
The Wolverines are 17-5 all-time against Penn State and have won four straight against the Nittany Lions. Michigan won 6-1 in last season's meeting.
Michigan holds a 72-26-2 record all-time against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have won the last 13 meetings between the two schools, including three last season (regular season, Big Ten Tournament semifinals and NCAA Tournament Second Round). The Wolverines have not beaten Ohio State since April 8, 2001 (a 4-3 win in Ann Arbor). Sunday's match marks the 101st meeting between the two rival schools.
Last Season and This Season vs. Ohio State
Several Michigan players got the chance to compete against players from Ohio State at the ITA Midwest Regional in October. Here are the outcomes:
Defeated Devin McCarthy (OSU) - 6-2, 6-4
Defeated Chase Buchanon (OSU) - 6-1, 6-2
Lost to Justin Kronauge (OSU) - 6-3, 6-1
Defeated Steven Williams (OSU) - 6-4, 6-3
Defeated Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) - 6-2, 6-4
Big Ten Outlook
Michigan sits third in the Big Ten despite the 5-0 start to the conference slate, with only Ohio State and Illinois ahead of the Wolverines. Both have 4-0 records in conference play, but both have better overall records than Michigan (Ohio State is 20-1; Illinois is 13-6).
The last time Michigan had won five or more conference matches in a row came in the 2007-08 season, when the Wolverines won their first seven. [ Big Ten Standings ]
Last Time Out
The Wolverines moved to 5-0 in the conference season after defeating Northwestern and Wisconsin last weekend at the Varsity Tennis Center, ending a six-match home stand. Michigan had won the doubles point against Wisconsin to take an early 1-0 lead but lost the first set in all six singles matches. Trailing 3-2 with two matches remaining, juniors Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) rallied to win at Nos. 1 and 4, respectively, to clinch the win for Michigan.
Complete Recaps: Northwestern | Wisconsin
Michigan Daily Recap
Jung Snaps Michalicka's Win Streak
In Sunday's win against Wisconsin, Jung handed Marek Michalicka (Wisconsin) his first loss in dual match play this season. Coming into the match with Michigan, Michalicka, the No. 21-ranked player in the country, was 14-0 in dual match play. Jung won in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
On The Road Again
Michigan's six-match home stand came to a close on Sunday (April 4) with the win over Wisconsin. The Wolverines went 5-1 during that span, with all five wins coming against Big Ten opponents.
Madden and senior George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) are both 5-0 in Big Ten singles play after the third week of conference action. Both are also riding win streaks, as Madden has won six straight and Navas has won four.
Through the month of March, Michigan is fifth in the nation in overall attendance, drawing 2,191 fans to the Varsity Tennis Center so far this season. In terms of average attendance, the Wolverines are ranked third nationally with 313 fans per home match. Both of those figures put Michigan atop the Big Ten.
Mr. Clutch (Or is it "Clinch"?)
Four of Michigan's nine wins this season have been clinched by Madden. He completed the Wolverines' comeback on Sunday against No. 30 Wisconsin, winning in three sets over Billy Bertha at No. 4. Madden also defeated Tobias Reitz of Northwestern on Saturday at No. 5.
The other two wins came earlier this season and both came against ranked opponents. Madden defeated No. 53 Charlie Jones (Vanderbilt), 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, in Michigan's season-opening dual match on Jan. 23 and defeated No. 73 Blas Moros (Notre Dame) on Feb. 13. Michigan won 4-3 both times.
U-M in ITA Rankings
Michigan stayed at No. 26 in the most recent ITA poll, released on April 6. There were no new singles or doubles rankings.
New team, singles and doubles rankings will be released on April 13.
The Wolverines have been masterful in doubles, winning the point in 13 of their 16 dual matches. The senior tandem of Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) and Navas each have 20 doubles wins this season, most on the team (11-4 in dual matches). The two have alternated between the top two doubles spots this season (2-1 at No. 1; 9-3 at No. 2).
Both earned career doubles win No. 80 earlier this season (Navas against Iowa on March 28; Sroczynski against Notre Dame on Feb. 13). Navas owns a career record of 81-55 (.595) in doubles, while Sroczynski is 87-48 (.644).
Freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) is proving his mettle against some of the nation's top players. On the season, King is third on the team in singles wins (16-11, 9-7 in dual matches) and has played at No. 1 singles in four of Michigan's first five conference matches. He has also moved back to No. 1 doubles with Jung, where the two are 7-5. [ Evan King Q&A ]
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 (April 6)
||W, 4-3 (Jan. 23)
|North Carolina State
||L, 4-3 (Jan. 24)
||L, 4-2 (Jan. 30)
||W, 4-2 (Jan. 31)
W, 5-2 (March 27)
||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)
||L, 5-2 (March 25)
||W, 6-1 (March 28)
||W, 5-2 (April 3)
||W, 4-3 (April 4)
||April 9 (State College, Pa.)
||April 11 (Columbus, Ohio)
||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 91-57, including a 39-16 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 returns home on April 18 for the final home match of the season, when it faces Purdue on "Senior Day" at the Varsity Tennis Center. The match will start at noon.