Spartans Open Big Ten Competition versus Bitter Rivals

Michigan State (5-5) travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. Friday night to take on the Michigan Wolverines (5-4).

“It’s special (playing against Michigan),” head coach Gene Orlando said. “They bring out a certain level of focus in our guys.”

The Spartans defeated Xavier last week 6-1, while the Wolverines bested No. 18 Vanderbilt 5-2.

Michigan State and Michigan have played two common opponents this year: North Carolina State and Toledo. Michigan and Michigan State both defeated Toledo, but lost against North Carolina State.

Michigan State suffered a close loss last year to Michigan, 4-3.

The Spartans are searching for their first road win as they dive into their conference portion of their schedule.

Coach Orlando said he “definitely” thought their non-conference schedule prepared his team for “strong” Big Ten competition.

Senior Alex Buzzi leads the Wolverines with 10 wins in singles competition and is riding a two game win streak.

The doubles team of senior Shaun Bernstein and freshman Kevin Wong has been highly successful for Michigan, as the duo has a 9-1 record.

Michigan State freshman Brett Forman leads the Spartans with a 12-4 record in singles competition.

Juniors Harry Jadun and Gijs Linders have a team best eight wins in doubles competition.

First serve is set for 6 p.m.

Troy Jefferson is the host of Match Point for Impact Sports.

Photo: Anthony Serafino/Impact Sports