COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After dropping the doubles point, the No. 23-ranked University of Michigan men's tennis team claimed four of the first five singles matches off the court en route to a 4-2 win over Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament on Friday night (April 26) at the Buckeyes' Varsity Tennis Courts.
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Buckeye Varsity Tennis Center)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Score: #23 Michigan 4, Indiana 2
Records: U-M (15-8), Indiana (18-14)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 27 -- vs. Minnesota - Big Ten Tournament Semifinals (Columbus, Ohio), 1:30 p.m.
U-M dropped the doubles point, splitting at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, before Indiana secured the point with a win at the No. 3 position. After dropping the first match off the court at No. 1, the Wolverine duo of Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National) rallied to knock off Josh MacTaggart and Daniel Bednarczyk, 9-7, at No. 2. Minutes later, the Indiana duo of Dimitrije Tasic and Chris Essick downed the U-M tandem of juniors Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys') and Alex Buzzi (Key Biscyane, Fla./Gulliver Prep), 8-6, at the No. 3 position to clinch the doubles point in the Hoosiers' favor.
The Wolverines quickly erased the deficit, jumping out to a 2-1 lead on Indiana. Senior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) was first off the court for the Maize and Blue, picking up his 112th career singles victory with a 6-1, 6-3 decision over MacTaggart at the top of the lineup. King, the 2013 Big Ten Athlete of the Year, is 21-1 in dual-match competition and 27-4 overall this season. Buzzi followed with a straight-set triumph at the No. 6 position, posting a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Essick.
After Indiana pulled even with a win at the No. 3 singles position, Petrone moved Michigan to within one point of clinching the match with a straight-sets victory at No. 2, beating No. 124 Sam Monette, 7-6 (2), 6-4, to give the Wolverines a 3-2 advantage.
Sophomore Vlad Stefan (Bucharest, Romania) clinched the match from the No. 4 singles position, securing his third dual-match clinching victory of the season with a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Tasic.
Michigan will face Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals tomorrow (Saturday, April 27) at 1:30 p.m. at the OSU Varsity Tennis Center. The Golden Gophers defeated Michigan State, 4-0, in the quarterfinal round. Minnesota defeated U-M in the teams' first meeting, 4-3, on March 24 in Ann Arbor.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 11 Evan King (U-M) d. Josh MacTaggart (Indiana), 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone (U-M) d. No. 124 Sam Monette (Indiana), 7-6 (2), 6-4
No. 3 -- Isade Juneau (Indiana) d. Barrett Franks (U-M), 6-3, 6-4
No. 4 -- No. 123 Vlad Stefan (U-M) d. Dimitrije Tasic (Indiana), 6-1, 6-3
No. 5 -- Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. Daniel Bednarczyk (Indiana), 2-6, 5-4 DNF
No. 6 -- Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Chris Essick (Indiana), 6-4, 6-1
No. 1 -- No. 20 Sam Monette/Isade Juneau (Indiana) d. No. 30 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 8-4
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) d. Josh MacTaggart/Daniel Bednarczyk (Indiana), 9-7
No. 3 -- Chris Essick/Dimitrije Tasic (Indiana) d. Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M), 8-6
Order of Completion: Singles 1-6-3-4, Doubles 1-2-3