Spartans No Match For Fourth Ranked Buckeyes


Heading into Friday’s matches at the Michigan State Indoor Tennis Center, the MSU men’s tennis team was stuck in a three match losing streak, with losses to Drake University, Boise State, and Penn State. That said, it was probably not the best time to play an Ohio State team that had lost two matches all season, as the Buckeyes swept MSU aside, 4-0.

Doubles went  as expected for the Buckeyes, who had gone 45-19 in doubles matches all season. OSU’s Mikael Torpegaard and Michael Joyce won easily at the one doubles position, 6-1, over Mac Roy and Alexander Kim. Roy had a potential ace called out in the third game that would have put him up 2-1 in the set, but the ball was called out. Roy then double faulted, going down 1-2 in the set and killing whatever momentum Roy and Kim might have had against a Buckeye pairing that had not lost a doubles set all season.

At the two doubles spot, Michael Dube and Colin Harvey lost 6-1 to the Buckeye team of Ralf Steinbach and Hunter Tubert, another OSU pairing that had not lost a doubles set to this point in the season. There was a glimmer of hope at three doubles for the Spartans, as Jasper Koenen and Billy Shisler broke serve in the first game, and were down 2-4 when the match was suspended.

The singles play went largely the same way, as a dominant Buckeyes performance saw wins at the No. one, four, and six positions before play was suspended. Torpegaard, who had lost just two matches all season, dispatched Mac Roy, 6-3, 6-1. At the two and three singles spots, Dube and Koenen had both lost their first set when play was suspended. Dube was playing well, hitting an excellent shot to force a deuce at 2-3 down and also winning a deuce at 2-4, but his match ended at 3-6, 2-4 before being suspended.

Coach Gene Orlando had high praise for the Buckeyes after the game.

“They played every point, played focused, and never allowed us to play our game. That’s the mark of a very confident team, they took care of business.”

Orlando also watched quite a bit of Colin Harvey at the No. 6 singles position, as the 6-foot freshman from Lake Forest, Ill. played in some of his first action in Big Ten singles play. Harvey started poorly, going down 0-5 early in the first set before working his way back to 2-6. He would eventually lose to OSU’s Matt Mendez, 6-2, 6-4. Orlando still ended up seeing encouraging signs from Harvey.

“It was the first time he’s got some action, we wanted to give him an opportunity,” Orlando said. “He extended the match a little bit, there’s still some room for improvement, but we’re all still improving at this point in the season.”

Elsewhere for the Spartans, Billy Shisler lost at four singles, 6-1, 6-1, to Ohio State’s Ralf Steinbach, and Alex Kim was down 2-6, 4-5 to OSU’s Martin Joyce before play was suspended at 5 singles.

Michigan State moves to 10-10 OVR, 0-3 B1G on the season, and will play two home matches against Purdue and Indiana next Saturday and Sunday.