For its third year, Michigan State men’s tennis traveled to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament and the team did not disappoint.
There were 60 teams nationally broken up into 15 regions and the Spartans played in Athens, Georgia in a four-team regional. Michigan State had a tough first-round task against host team Georgia, who are ranked No. 8 nationally with highly-ranked doubles and singles players.
Nick Wood, ranked No. 101 nationally, took on Michigan State’s Harry Jadun in singles. Jadun was a star for the Spartans last week, but went down in straight sets to Wood, 6-3 and 6-2.
However, the Spartans put some tough work into two doubles matches to get some points on the board.
Brett Forman and Gijs Linders knocked off the No. 1 doubles duo of Paul Oosterbaan and Ben Wagland, 7-6. Oosterbaan and Wagland were ranked No. 16 nationally.
The second doubles victory came from Michael Dube and Mac Roy, who defeated the No. 34 duo of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith, 7-5. The Spartans won their doubles point overall with the win.
It put some fire into the Spartans, but they were ultimately swept in the six singles matches. Georgia won it 4-1 against MSU to knock them off from moving on to compete nationally in Chicago.
Regardless of the team loss, the Spartans were the only team to win a point on the day against the Bulldogs. Georgia went on to crush Utah 4-0 the next day in the regional finals and earned their 26th-straight home win in the victory.
The Spartans were then playing for a consolation prize for third place against No. 55 ranked Elon. But regardless of the tournament place circumstance, they proved that they can hang with the best.
They obliterated Elon, 4-0, and had many players step up along the way.
They started off strong in doubles as usual, winning the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches. Freshman Jasper Koenen stepped in for Jadun’s usual doubles partner John Patrick Mullane to win at the No. 3 spot.
In Singles, Forman beat Robert Lindgren in No. 2 singles and Roy defeated Jordan Kaufman. Jadun went on to win his singles match to clinch the win for the Spartans, who already had the doubles point win. Linders, Dube and Koenen did not need to finish.
The Spartans now host their first tennis matches of 2015 at home against Toledo and Detroit next weekend.
More coverage to come later in the week from the big win against Elon.
Alex Scharg is a multimedia journalist for MSU Impact Sports.
Photo: Anthony Serafino/Impact Sports