Wake Forest Earns Split with Mercer and No. 24 Michigan
March 10, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The No. 63 Wake Forest men's tennis team used a perfect singles day from the bottom half of its lineup to split a doubleheader with Mercer and No. 24 Michigan at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex, defeating the Bears 6-1 and coming up just short of an upset in a 4-3 loss to the Wolverines.
Wake Forest's Adam Lee, Conner Sherwood and Alex Tsai, who played at the Nos. 4-6 positions in the two matches, all won their singles matches against both opponents. The Deacons' No. 2 doubles team of Lee and David Hopkins was also victorious against both the Bears and the Wolverines.
The Demon Deacons (9-6) cruised through doubles against the Bears, clinching the doubles point in less than 45 minutes. Danny Kreyman and Alex Tsai easily dispatched Elbert Beekman and Peter Tauchner 8-2 at No. 3 and David Hopkins and Adam Lee clinched the point at No. 2 with an 8-1 victory over Vincent DeLise and Joao Pagan.
The Bears showed from the start of singles that they would be no pushover, taking early leads on almost all of the courts. But Wake Forest fought back to take five of the six matches to close out their 6-1 win.
Tsai had no trouble with Beekman at No. 6, easily dispatching him 6-2, 6-0 for Wake Forest's second point, and Amogh Prabhakar pushed the Deacon advantage to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Barton at No. 3.
Hopkins notched the clinching point at the No. 2 spot, taking down Pagan 6-3, 6-3, and Lee finished minutes later at No. 5 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Victor Dias.
The final two matches on court played 10-point tiebreaks in lieu of third sets since the overall match had already been decided. Sherwood jumped all over Vincent DeLise in the tiebreak to take it easily by a 10-2 scoreline, closing out a 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (2) win. Wake Forest's lone setback of the match came at No. 1 where Kreyman fell 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (7) to Peter Tauchner.
The Deacons fought hard in their first match of the day against the No. 24 Wolverines but came up just short.
Wake Forest held the early advantage in doubles, gaining a break advantage at both the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. In what turned out to be the deciding match at No. 3, Danny Kreyman and Alex Tsai served for the win at both 7-6 and 8-7, but were broken both times by their Wolverine counterparts Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu, sending the match to a tiebreak. In the breaker, Michigan seized momentum on a tough call that went against Wake Forest, taking the victory 9-8 (5) and also the doubles point by virtue of its earlier win at No. 1 by the 14th-ranked duo of Shaun Bernstein and Evan King.
The Deacons started strong again in singles and for awhile it looked like they would get the four wins necessary to take the match. New Zealand native Lee rolled past his countryman Franks 6-2 in the first set and then rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second set to close out the 6-2, 6-4 win.
Conner Sherwood notched his first singles win against a BCS conference opponent this season, downing Zhu 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5. Alex Tsai continued his strong play of late, outlasting Buzzi 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 6.
But the top of the Wake Forest lineup did not fare as well. In the No. 2 singles match, Kreyman jumped out to a 5-3 lead on Bernstein before watching the Wolverine sophomore explode to win the next nine games. Kreyman dug in his heels down 5-0 in the second set, but was only able to hold off Bernstein for two more games before the Michigander closed out a 7-5, 6-2 win.
King, the tenth-ranked singles player in the country, defeated Hopkins 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 and Petrone downed Amogh Prabhakar 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3.
The Demon Deacons will jump into ACC play next weekend when they host No. 5 Duke at 11 a.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. Following the men's match, the Wake Forest women's team will also face the Blue Devils at 3 p.m.
#24 Michigan 4, #63 Wake Forest 3
#63 Wake Forest 6, Mercer 1