“How bad we want it?” John Patrick Mullane said in a huddle before the start of the match.
“Real bad!” the Michigan State men’s team replied.
There was so much energy and eagerness in the huddle that men’s faces were turning red, as the Michigan State men’s tennis team took on the Michigan Wolverine men’s team. However, the Spartans could not do enough, as they lost in a heartbreak thriller to the Wolverines.
To start the match, comments were said under the breath of multiple fans, claps were made from the crowd, chants were made by MSU superfan Sonny Jadun and support was paramount. It was the nature of the rivalry.
MSU fell behind early in doubles, with each of the three doubles matches losing the first point. But then, all three MSU men’s pairs won the next doubles point to tie it at 1-1. It was a big momentum shift for the Spartans.
The No. 21 doubles pair of Mullane and Harry Jadun gained a two-game lead midway through the doubles match and went on to win, 8-5.
No. 3 Doug Zade and Jasper Koenen lost 8-2, so it all came down to Gijs Linders and Mac Roy who were tied at 6-6 in the determining doubles match. They pulled out an 8-6 victory over Michigan for the Spartans to seal the doubles point.
Everything was looking up for the Spartan men to clinch the match. They only needed three singles matches to win it since they won the doubles point. However, every single match was hard-fought and went to three sets.
Roy and Linders won the first two for the Spartans. However, Jadun dropped his match in two sets. The total team score was 3-1 at this point, which meant the Spartans needed one more singles match win to clinch the team victory over the Wolverines.
Koenen lost for the Spartans at No. 6 and it all came down to Mullane and Brett Forman. Mullane lost both of his sets and Forman lost the third set, in which the Wolverines clinched a 4-3 win.
Tune in to the Match Point podcast next week for more coverage on Michigan and the remainder of this week’s tennis matches.
Photo: Scott Wasserman/MSU Impact Sports