By Tino Abarca
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State men’s tennis opened up conference play at their indoor tennis facility on Friday. The Spartans faced No. 14 Michigan and Penn State, but would finish the weekend winless.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the Spartans were downed by Michigan. The Wolverines shut out Spartans 7-0, winning all singles and doubles matches.
The Spartans would suffer similar fate against the Nittany Lions. Juniors Michael Dube and Jasper Koenen were able to salvage a 6-1 victory in doubles competition. Alexander Kim and Brett Forman came close to a victory but fell 7-5 forcing the doubles point to Penn State.
Dube handled his singles opponent handily taking the match to two sets (6-2, 7-5). The Livonia, Mich. native secured the only point for the Spartans throughout the afternoon with his victory.
In Koenen’s match against Penn State’s Christian Lakoseljac, an injury proved costly to Koenen after the first set. He was able to finish the match but lost 7-5 and 6-4.
Forman was part of one of the most intriguing matches of the day. He wasn’t able to pull out a victory, as he ultimately lost 6-4,7-6. The chair umpire was not on his side making several controversial calls against Forman. On multiple occasions, the ball appeared to be out of play but was called inbounds. These calls played costly in Forman’s loss and could’ve swung the match in his favor.
The Spartans fell to 10-8 this weekend, but remain confident heading into their weekend match up against Ohio State. After their trip to Columbus, they will travel to Purdue and Indiana before returning back to East Lansing on April 8.