Michigan State Takes on IU and Purdue
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State (12-8, 1-3) returns home after a four game road stretch in which they went 2-2. This weekend the Spartans continue conference play with two scheduled Big Ten matches against Indiana and Purdue. First up, on Saturday MSU will face off against Indiana at noon on followed by a match against Purdue on Sunday at noon. Both matches will take place at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.
Indiana currently sits at 14-4 on the year and is ranked No. 21 in the nation. The Hoosiers are also 2-1 in Big Ten play with their first conference loss coming against Ohio State in a doubleheader last Sunday. IU rebounded from that loss with a 7-0 sweep of IUPUI that night; however they fell against Louisville 4-3 Wednesday (March 28) night. Before the Ohio State loss the Hoosiers were on a seven-game win streak that included wins over Purdue and Penn State. Last season the Spartans fell to the Hoosiers 6-1 in Bloomington, Ind. along with two losses the year before that as MSU lost to Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament.
The No. 70 ranked Boilermakers currently sit at .500 for the year with a 7-7 overall record, and 1-1 Big Ten record. Five of Purdue's seven losses have come against ranked opponents with only two of the losses at home. Last weekend Purdue split matches against Indiana and Penn State falling to the Hoosiers, 6-1, and picking up a win against Penn State, 7-0. The Boilermakers will travel to the University of Michigan on Saturday for a match against the Wolverines before heading to East Lansing on Sunday. Two years ago the Spartans defeated Purdue 5-2 at home but fell to them last year in West Lafayette in a close 4-3 match.
Last Time Out
Last weekend the Spartans were on the road taking on Minnesota and Wisconsin. In MSU's first match on Friday night the Spartans fell to the Gophers 7-0. Harry Jadun and Austin Brooks were able to win one doubles match for MSU on court two but the Gophers won the other two matches, winning the point. In singles play Minnesota continued their winning ways gaining all six points but not without a fight from the Spartans. Four of the six matches went into three sets but Michigan State came up short in all four of those matches.
MSU was able to rebound and pick up their first conference win two days later in a match at Wisconsin. The Spartans beat the Badgers 6-1 on Sunday (March 25) winning all six singles points after starting out the day with a loss in doubles. MSU won one doubles match on court one with an 8-6 victory for Aaron Pfister and Drew Lied but then dropped the other two matches to lose the first point of the day. However, Aaron Pfister, Ronnie Hulewicz, Denis Bogatov, Austin Brooks, Drew Lied, and Gijs Linders all beat their opponents on their respective courts to pick up the 6-1 win.
The Spartans have picked up two weekly Big Ten awards this season with the most recent recipient being Denis Bogatov the week of Jan. 17. The Gurnee, Ill. native notched a 2-0 singles and 2-0 doubles record on Jan. 14 and helped the Spartans sweep their season-opening tripleheader against Bradley, Morehead State and Wright State.
Earlier this season, Aaron Pfister also picked up an individual Big Ten accolade after being crowned the conference's indoor champion in Iowa City back in November 2011. The sophomore went undefeated, posting a perfect 6-0 singles record on his way to winning the title and also advanced to the final round of the Flight A doubles draw during the tournament.
Meet the Spartans
The Michigan State men's tennis team will feature a student-athlete every week this spring in attempt to "Meet the Spartans". This week senior Austin Brooks (Houston, Texas) sat down with msuspartans.com to answer some questions about why he chose to come to Michigan State and his past four years here. Brooks is currently 9-8 on the year in singles play while competing on courts one through four.
Spartans on the Web
To see all of the latest updates and highlights on the men's tennis team, be sure to `like' their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter @MSU_Tennis.
MSU hits the road once again for two more matches the following weekend against Northwestern and Illinois. The Spartans will travel to Evanston on Friday, April 6, to take on the Wildcats at 1:30 p.m. They then head to Champaign the following day for a Saturday match against the Fighting Illini at 1 p.m.