Story courtesy of Western Michigan University athletic media relations
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Western Michigan men's tennis team made
history on Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center by winning its
first point in six NCAA Tournament appearances, but No. 16 Michigan
fought back in singles to win, 4-1, and advance to the second round
of the 2008 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament.
The Broncos (20-8) lost the first doubles match of the day as
seniors Alex Birchmeier and Bryan Norville couldn't fight back from
a 6-1 deficit in an 8-5 loss at No. 1 doubles.
WMU held strong at No. 2 and 3 as the tandem of junior Kevin
Hayward and freshman Casey Cullen picked up two quick breaks to take
a 5-2 lead at No. 2 and freshmen Michael Calderone and Kazuya Komada
earned a break to take 4-2 and 5-3 leads at No. 3.
The twos lost one of their breaks, but hung on to the other one
with Hayward serving out the match for an 8-6 victory over the 38th
ranked doubles team in the country and only the second individual
match victory in WMU's six team NCAA appearances.
Things were the most interesting at No. 3 doubles as the Wolverines
won three straight games to come back and take a 6-5 lead, but
Komada held on the next service game to keep things even. The
Wolverines won their next service game to retake the lead, 7-6, and
then earned two match point opportunities. They fought them both off
and then Calderone fired an ace and convincing volley to even the
match at seven-all. The Broncos then came back and broke Chris
Madden to take an 8-7 lead, but UM broke right back against Komada
to force a tiebreaker.
The Broncos went up 2-0 in the tiebreak, but Michigan won the next
two points to tie things up. WMU staged a three-point mini-run to go
up 5-2 and then hung on for the 7-3 tiebreaker victory and the first
team point in WMU's NCAA Tournament history.
The Wolverines started fast in doubles trying to defend their
homecourt with Chris Madden winning the first set at No. 5 and No.
64 Matko Maravic winning the first set at No. 1. Komada put WMU in
the set winners column with a 6-4 first set triumph over Mike
Sroczynski at No. 4.
UM kept the momentum with Andrew Mazlin taking the first set at No.
3 against Staub after trailing 5-4 with Staub serving for the set,
and George Navas survived Calderone's comeback attempt at No. 6 with
a tiebreaker victory.
Birchmeier gave WMU its other first set victory over Jason Jung,
7-6 (1), at No. 2. Birchmeier held a 4-1 lead before Jung fought
back to take a lead of his own at 5-4 before Birchmeier forced the
The Broncos couldn't close out a singles win as Maravic finished
off Hayward 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 for the Wolverines first point.
Norville hung on as long as possible at No. 5, but Madden finally
pulled out the win 6-2, 6-4 to make it 2-1 in favor of the host
Calderone fell behind 4-0 in the second set against Navas, before
fighting back to 4-3 and having opportunities to even the set. Navas
found a way to hang on and take the match 7-6, 6-3.
Mazlin pushed the Wolverines into the second round against either
Texas Tech or Harvard by closing out Staub 7-5, 6-3.
Tennis Match Results
Western Michigan vs Michigan
May 10, 2008 at Ann Arbor, Mich.
#16 Michigan 4, Western Michigan 1
1. #64 Matko Maravic (UM) def. Kevin Hayward (WMU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Jason Jung (UM) vs. Alex Birchmeier (WMU) 6-7 (1-7), 4-3,
3. Andrew Mazlin (UM) def. Alejandro Staub (WMU) 7-5, 6-3
4. Mike Sroczynski (UM) vs. Kazuya Komada (WMU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-1,
5. Chris Madden (UM) def. Bryan Norville (WMU) 6-2, 6-4
6. George Navas (UM) def. Michael Calderone (WMU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
1. Matko Maravic/Andrew Mazlin (UM) def. Alex Birchmeier/Bryan
Norville (WMU) 8-5
2. Casey Cullen/Kevin Hayward (WMU) def. #38 Jason Jung/Mike
Sroczynski (UM) 8-6
3. Michael Calderone/Kazuya Komada (WMU) def. Chris Madden/George
Navas (UM) 9-8 (7-3)
Western Michigan 20-8
Michigan 19-6; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,5,6,3)
2008 NCAA Tournament First Round