BATON ROUGE - The No. 68 LSU men's tennis team (6-7) lost a tightly-contested match against No. 40 Michigan (6-6) by a score of 5-2 Sunday afternoon at the Dub in Baton Rouge.
Michigan took an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point.
"Michigan did a very good job in the doubles in establishing one of their better points and that kind of put us in a hole," head coach Jeff Brown said.
On court one, the No. 37 duo of Evan King and Alex Buzzi were able to defeat LSU's Olivier Borsos and Roger Anderson 8-5. The doubles point was clinched on court three by Michigan's pair of Barrett Franks and Shaun Bernstein with a 5-8 victory over LSU's Chris Simpson and Mark Bowtell. The match between the Tigers' Tam Trinh and Stefan Szacinski and the Wolverines' Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu was left unfinished with LSU leading 5-4.
The Tigers looked to turn things around at the start of the singles matches. "In singles, our straight-set losses made it too easy," Brown said.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory by Zhu on court five against LSU's Bowtell. Soon after, they pushed their lead even further to 3-0 following a 6-4, 6-2 victory by Petrone over the Tigers' Borsos.
Trailing 3-0, the Tigers were very much alive as the four remaining singles matches all went into third sets.
The Tigers first point of the afternoon came courtesy of a clutch 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 victory by Szacinski over No. 76 Vlad Stefan on court two, cutting the Wolverines' lead to 3-1.
Despite the Tigers' best efforts, the Wolverines were able to curtail LSU's comeback attempt after Franks defeated Trinh 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 on court four to clinch the match for Michigan. Moments later, Michigan added on to their lead to make it 5-1 on court six when Buzzi defeated LSU's Arias 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The highlight of the match for the Tigers was a big victory by Simpson over No. 15 King 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) to end the match 5-2 for Michigan.
"Evan King is a great barometer," Brown said. "If you're beating him, then that means you're ready to step into that level. It's very significant for Chris Simpson's future and the team in establishing himself as one of the top players in the nation."
"We had some guys that played well today and fought hard, but we also have some guys that have some improving to do," Brown said.
The Tigers next matchup is in Baton Rouge at the Dub against No. 4 Ole Miss on Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m. CT. Admission is free and free pizza will be served as well.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's tennis team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
Michigan vs LSU
Mar 17, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.
(W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium)
#40 Michigan 5, #68 LSU 2
1. Chris Simpson (LSU) def. #15 Evan King (MICH) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. #76 Vlad Stefan (MICH) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
3. Alex Petrone (MICH) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Barrett Franks (MICH) def. Tam Trinh (LSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
5. Michael Zhu (MICH) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Alex Buzzi (MICH) def. Boris Arias (LSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
1. #37 Evan King/Alex Buzzi (MICH) def. Olivier Borsos/Roger Anderson (LSU) 8-5
2. Tam Trinh/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) vs. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (MICH) 5-4, unfinished
3. Barrett Franks/Shaun Bernstein (MICH) def. Chris Simpson/Mark Bowtell (LSU) 8-5
Michigan 6-6; National ranking #40
LSU 6-7; National ranking #68
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (5,3,2,4,6,1)
LSU Head Coach Jeff Brown Quotes
On today's match...
"Michigan did a very good job in the doubles in establishing one of their better points and that kind of put us in a hole. In singles, our straight-set losses made it too easy. We had some guys that played well today and fought hard, but we also have some guys that have some improving to do."
On Chris Simpson's victory over No. 15 Evan King...
"Evan King is a great barometer. If you're beating him, then that means you're ready to step into that level. It's very significant for Chris Simpson's future and the team in establishing himself as one of the top players in the nation."