For the first time since 2008 and the fourth time since 1980, the Michigan men’s tennis program has advanced to the NCAA’s round of 16.
No. 15-ranked Michigan pulled off the feat Sunday with a 4-0 victory over No. 25 Notre Dame to clinch the regional championship on its own campus, at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Wolverines next play at 9 a.m. Friday against UCLA, in Winston-Salem, N.C., with that winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
Michigan junior Myles Schalet rallied from a first-set loss to win his match at No. 3 singles, 2-6, 7-5. 6-2, sealing the fourth and decisive point for Michigan (22-5). Schalet closed it with an ace.
Schalet also teamed with Northville sophomore Connor Johnston to win a match at No. 1 doubles, helping the Wolverines seal the one point available in doubles.
Also winning matches Sunday for Michigan: senior Alex Knight-freshman Harrison Brown (No. 3 doubles), freshman Mattias Siimar (No. 3 singles) and senior Davis Crocker from Kalamazoo Loy Norrix (No. 6 singles). The rest of the singles matches went unfinished, after the Wolverines won the match.
Notre Dame (19-4) advanced to Round 2 by beating Western Michigan (22-5), 4-1, on Saturday.
The Broncos’ point came from junior Eric Olivarez, who earned the first singles victory in Western Michigan history. Senior Maik Steiner, the Mid-American Conference player of the year, finished his Western Michigan career with 176 total wins.
Also Saturday, the 17th-ranked Michigan’s women’s team (18-9) was eliminated in Round 2 of the NCAAs, falling to No. 15 and regional host Stanford, 4-0. Junior Kate Fahey will compete for the Wolverines in the NCAA singles championships, set for later this month in Winston-Salem, N.C.
MSU wins a national championship?!?
It’s been a tough year at Michigan State, on many different fronts.
But there was a little bit of joy in East Lansing on Saturday, as astute fans of lacrosse know.
In Salt Lake City, Michigan State beat Chapman, 10-8, to win a national championship in club lacrosse — or, more accurately, Division I of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), which hosts schools that don’t have NCAA-affiliated lacrosse teams.
Junior Charlie Pistiner (Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood) had four goals for Michigan State.
Red-shirt junior Kevin Boland had 10 saves for the Spartans in earning tournament MVP honors.
Michigan State (18-1) wore throwback green jerseys during the NCAAs, in honor of the program’s first season, in 1963.
Northwood king of The Corner
In the first marquee event played at the old Tiger Stadium site since The Corner officially opened this spring, Northwood beat Davenport, 5-4, on Sunday to win the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournament for the second consecutive year.
Junior Miles Hardy (Lake Orion) had a two-out single to score junior Keaton Sackett (DeWitt) in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning for Northwood, which earned the league’s automatic bid in the Division II NCAA Tournament.
Earlier Sunday, Davenport (33-19) beat Ashland, 8-4 in 12 innings, to advance to the championship game.
In four games in the tournament, held Thursday through Sunday at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, Northwood (38-14) had a team ERA of 2.00. Northwood sophomore outfielder David Vinsky (Farmington Hills Harrison) was named tournament MVP, after batting .529 with a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Wayne State (27-21) was eliminated Friday by Northwood, 3-1.
Expect to see more and more college games played at The Corner, home of the Detroit Police Athletic League, including even a possible Michigan-Michigan State game in the near-future.
By winning the MAC men’s outdoor track-and-field championship Sunday, Eastern Michigan secured the triple crown — that’s MAC championship in outdoor, indoor and cross country this year.
That makes the fourth time that’s been done in Eagles history (2000-01, 2001-02, 2006-07), and just the seventh time in conference history, counting men’s and women’s.
The EMU men’s and women’s teams were trying to make history together, becoming the first school to hold all six championships at once. But the EMU women finished second in the outdoors this weekend, to Akron.
Red-shirt senior Hlynur Andresson, of Iceland, set the pace for Eastern Michigan, winning the 5,000, the 3,000 steeple and the 10,000 to be named men’s MVP. Tyler Johnson was named MAC freshman of the year, and John Goodridge was coach of the year.
This and that
■The Oakland softball team (23-27) fell in the Horizon League championship game, 3-1 on Saturday to host and top-seeded Illinois-Chicago. The Golden Grizzlies won the opener, 7-3, to force the winner-take-all final. Freshman Madison Jones (Romeo) finished the season with 13 homers, a .761 slugging percentage and 118 total bases, all program records.
■Central Michigan baseball coach Steve Jaksa won his 500th game Friday, as the Chippewas beat Miami (Ohio), 6-2. He’s the sixth coach in MAC history to reach that milestone, and is 16 wins from tying Dean Kreiner for most in program history.
■Jack Siebold, a member of the Michigan State swimming-and-diving program in the 1940s and later wrote the wildly popular and amazingly comprehensive “Spartan Sports Encyclopedia, died Tuesday. The Jackson native was 89.