Weekly #14: U-M to Conclude Regular Season at VTC
MGOBLUE Shaun Bernstein
MGOBLUE
Shaun Bernstein
MGOBLUE

April 15, 2014

THIS WEEK
Friday, April 18 -- vs. Indiana (Varsity Tennis Center), 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 20 -- vs. Purdue (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

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The University of Michigan men's tennis team (12-11 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) concludes the regular season this weekend with a pair of home matches. The Wolverines will face 58th-ranked Indiana (15-14 overall, 3-6 Big Ten) at 4 p.m. on Friday (April 18) at the Varsity Tennis Center and then wrap up conference action vs. 28th-ranked Purdue (15-4 overall, 7-2 Big Ten) at noon on Sunday (April 20) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Dual-Match Format
Each match this weekend will be for the best-of-seven team points. Each 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. Each 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.

WOLVERINE BITES

• Sunday's match vs. Purdue is designated as Senior Day and will honor the careers of seniors Shaun Bernstein, Alex Buzzi, Barrett Franks, Justin Rossi and Vlad Stefan. Through last weekend's action, the five players have combined to win 426 matches (229 in singles, 197 in doubles).

• U-M owns a 63-5-1 lead in the all-time series against the Hoosiers, including a 4-2 win when the teams met quarterfinals of the 2013 Big Ten Championships last April. The Wolverines also claimed last season's regular-season encounter, earning a 4-3 triumph over Indiana in Bloomington.

• Michigan owns a 68-10 advantage in the all-time series against the Boilermakers and has won the last nine straight meetings, earning a 5-2 decision in last season's match in West Lafayette.

• Through the month of March, Michigan is fifth in the nation in overall attendance, drawing 3,804 fans to the Varsity Tennis Center so far this season.

• Senior Alex Buzzi and junior Alex Petrone share the team lead with 15 singles victories apiece. Petrone and senior/junior Justin Rossi have each posted a team-high 11 dual-match victories during the 2014 campaign.

• Dating back to Feb. 2, senior/junior Justin Rossi has won 10 of his last 15 singles matches. He owns 14 singles victories this season, including a career-high 11 dual-match wins.

• Freshman Kevin Wong has won five consecutive singles matches and owns a 7-1 record during dual-match play.

• The Wolverines have earned the doubles point in 15 of their first 23 matches this season, combining for a 33-21 doubles record, including an 11-3 mark by the tandem of senior Shaun Bernstein and freshman Kevin Wong, who have played at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 positions this season. The 31st-ranked tandem of seniors Barrett Franks and Alex Buzzi make up U-M's No. 1 doubles team. The senior duo owns four victories over top-20 ranked opponents, including an 8-7 (6) victory over Illinois' third-ranked tandem of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon on April 6. The Wolverines are 9-4 this season when claiming the doubles point.

• Eight different Michigan players have clinched U-M's 12 dual wins this season: seniors Barrett Franks (Mississippi and Detroit) and Alex Buzzi (Michigan State and Wisconsin), junior Alex Petrone (LSU and Iowa) and freshman Kevin Wong (Western Michigan, Youngstown State) have each clinched two matches, while senior Shaun Bernstein (Vanderbilt, juniors Michael Zhu (Toledo) and Vlad Stefan (Nebraska) and senior/junior Justin Rossi (Hawaii) have each clinched one match apiece.

• In dual matches, Michigan is 68-69 (.496) in singles play and 33-21 (.611) in doubles action. Overall, U-M is 97-109 (.471) in singles and 51-34 (.600) in doubles action for the season.

• Over its last 16 matches, U-M has gone a combined 30-18 from the No. 4-No. 6 singles positions.

• The Wolverines feature one ranked singles players in junior Alex Petrone (No. 103). On the doubles side, seniors Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks come in at No. 31.

• As has become tradition under the guidance of head coach Bruce Berque, Michigan has once again played a challenging schedule to start the season. Prior to this weekend's encounters with No. 28 Purdue and No. 59 Indiana, the Wolverines have already squared off against 15 ranked opponents: No. 2 Ohio State, No. 10 Texas, No. 11 Illinois, No. 11 Mississippi, No. 13 Duke, No. 18 Vanderbilt, No. 22 Illinois, No. 24 Columbia, No. 26 Louisville, No. 27 Penn State, No. 30 LSU, No. 35 North Carolina State, No. 37 Northwestern, No. 51 Minnesota, No. 60 Nebraska, No. 68 Iowa and No. 70 Wisconsin.

• Freshman Kevin Wong represented his native country of Hong Kong at the 2014 Davis Cup (Feb. 14-16) in Phuket, Thailand. Competing in Group II of the Asia/Oceania Zone, Hong Kong fell to Thailand, 4-1, in first-round action at the Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club. Wong teamed with former Duke four-time All-American Phillip King in the tournament's doubles competition. Wong is off to a strong start to his collegiate career, holding overall marks of 13-5 in singles and 19-7 in doubles. Wong and senior Shaun Bernstein are 14-4 this season and hold an 11-3 mark during dual-match play.

• Freshman Tyler Gardiner owns a combined 4-0 record in singles and doubles play during U-M's dual-match season. A native of Novi, Mich., Gardiner is 2-0 at the No. 6 singles position and 2-1 at the No. 3 doubles position since making his dual-match debut against Detroit on March 15. Gardiner, who made his debut this fall, has posted a 4-4 mark through the first eight singles matches of his collegiate career.

• Michigan is off to a 9-5 start at the Varsity Tennis Center this season. The Wolverines have been tough to beat at the VTC since the facility opened in 1997. Michigan is 82-29 (.739) since the 2005 season and is 142-49 (.743) overall at the complex.

• Freshmen Davis Crocker and Alex Knight joined the Wolverine program at the start of the spring semester. Both players are practicing with the team, but both are expected to redshirt this season.

• At the conclusion of the fall season, seniors Shaun Bernstein and Barrett Franks and junior Alex Petrone were voted by their teammates to serve as team captains for the 2014 season. This marks the third consecutive season Bernstein has been voted a captain by his peers.

• Michigan inked two top prep players -- Runhao (Leo) Hua (Shanghai, China/Edison Academics) and Cameron Norrie (Auckland, New Zealand/Macleans College) -- to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period this fall. Hua holds a career-best International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior World Ranking of 138. Norrie has been ranked as high as No. 10 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior World Rankings and holds 12 ITF titles (five singles and seven doubles). Both players will join the Maize and Blue next fall.

• Head coach Bruce Berque is in his 10th year at the helm of the Wolverine program, compiling a 154-100 overall record and 64-25 Big Ten mark over his tenure. Berque has led the Wolverines to eight consecutive NCAA Championships berths, including the 2008 Sweet 16, and has finished among the top four of the Big Ten in eight of nine seasons. Jeremy Wurtzman is in his first season as Michigan's associate head coach. A former ATP tour professional and a three-year standout at Ohio State, Wurtzman spent the last four years as the head coach of the University of Denver women's tennis program.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Thu-Sun, April 24-27
-- at Big Ten Championships (East Lansing, Mich.)

Media Contact: Zach Eisendrath (zeisen@umich.edu)

   

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