The Michigan State men’s tennis team found itself in a tough spot in East Lansing on Sunday as it lost to Middle Tennessee State University.
It was a hard-fought battle that ended short with a 5-2 loss. The loss was the Spartans’ third in their last four contests. Even then, they stand at 7-3 so far on the season. Middle Tennessee, meanwhile, improved to 11-3.
Although the result was a loss, there were still positives for the Spartans. Senior Jack Winkler defeated MTSU’s Stjin Slump in No. 1 singles. Slump happens to be No. 61 in the national rankings. Winkler had to battle back-and-forth with Slump, but he won both his first and his second sets. He improved his season-singles record to 7-9.
Over on the No. 5 court, freshman Max Sheldon also won both sets against MTSU’s Oskar Poulson. Sheldon had to fight for the extra points in his first match, but from then on, continued to win. Sheldon improved his singles record to 13-7
Outside of the singles matches, the Spartans struggled in doubles. Play only occurred in No. 1 and No. 2 doubles because MTSU swept the pairings of Kazuki Matsuno with Nick Williams and Max Sheldon with Carson Gates.
The Spartans were also supposed to play Bellarmine University, but that match got postponed. Next weekend, MSU will travel to face Ball State. The Cardinals are 5-3 on the season with a 2-0 record at home. They will travel to Illinois State on Wednesday before their matchup with the Spartans.
The competition is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the Northwest YMCA in Muncie, Indiana on Saturday. These next few matches against Ball State, Marquette and Butler should help MSU prepare for the Arizona State Invite before it begins Big Ten play in late March.