Wolverines Rout Middle Tennessee in NCAA First Round
OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 21-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team claimed the doubles point and the first three singles matches off court to shut down Middle Tennessee State, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday morning (May 12) at Mississippi's Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Junior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep) clinched the dual match from the No. 1 singles court, extending his win streak to 16 in a row with a 6-2, 6-3 decision against Ben Davis. On serve through seven games in the second set, King broke in the eighth, going up 5-3 to serve for the match. He improved to 33-6 on the season and is 21-2 in dual competition.
King was preceded in victory by sophomore Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys' School) and freshman Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) at the No. 6 and No. 2 positions, respectively. Franks made quick work of Dmitiri Pippos at the former, winning 6-1, 6-1 as the first match off court. Franks took advantage of early breaks in both sets to even his season record at 18-18.
Petrone used a late second-set break to defeat Matt Langley, 6-2, 6-3, on the No. 2 court. The Wolverine rookie carried an advantage through most of the second, before Langley broke to get back on serve. Petrone responded immediately, however, breaking again to gain a 5-3 lead and subsequently serving out the match.
The Wolverines sealed the doubles point quickly with lopsided decisions on the No. 1 and No. 3 courts. U-M's rookie tandem of Petrone and freshman Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National HS) clinched the point with an 8-4 win against Ettore Zito and Langley at the latter position.
Michigan will face 13th-ranked Mississippi in tomorrow's (Sunday, May 13) NCAA Championships second round. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. CDT start at Ole Miss' Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 6 Evan King (U-M) d. Ben Davis (MT), 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone (U-M) d. Matt Langley (MT), 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein (U-M) vs. Christoph Lang (MT), 3-6, 6-2, 3-3 abandoned
No. 4 -- Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. Ettore Zito (MT), 1-6, 7-5, 0-0 abandoned
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Dmitiri Pippos (MT), 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) vs. Forrest Edwards (MT), 6-3, 4-6, 0-1 abandoned
No. 1 -- No. 29 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. Yannick Born/Marlon Brand (MT), 8-2
No. 2 -- Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M) vs. Ben Davis/Christoph Lang (MT), 5-6 abandoned
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Ettore Zito/Matt Langley (MT), 8-4
Order of Completion: Singles 5-2-1; Doubles 1-3