Michigan Tops Texas in NCAA Super Regional, Moves on to Elite Eight
5/14/2022 6:12:00 PM
// Kristy McNeil
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Result: #5 Michigan 4, #12 Texas 2
Records: UM (25-3), Texas (18-11)
Next UM Event: Thursday, May 19 — vs. Ohio State — NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals (Champaign, Ill.), 7 p.m. CDT
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 5 seed University of Michigan men’s tennis team defeated No. 12 Texas 4-2 in an NCAA Tournament Super Regional match on Saturday (May 14) at the Varsity Tennis Center. The contest saw a wild finish that started outdoors, was paused for a lightning delay and then moved indoors. This is the first time Michigan advances to the Elite Eight since 1988.
The Wolverines held a 3-2 advantage with No. 1 and No. 3 singles still at play before the match was paused due to lightning in the area. Ondrej Styler was up 4-3 in the third set against Eliot Spizzirri, while Andrew Fenty trailed 4-1 on his third set with Pierre-Yves Bailly.
Play resumed an hour later indoors. Fenty came back refreshed and clutch, not giving up a single point and winning five straight games for a 6-4 third-set victory.
Styler and Spizzirri were knotted 3-3 in the third-set tiebreaker when the match was left unfinished.
Michigan took the double points for the 24th time this season with Styler and Jacob Bickersteth coming up big at No. 3, taking the win in a 7-6 (5) tiebreaker. The duo looked like it would run away with it after going up 4-1. Chih Chu Huang and Eshan Talluri won four of the next five games to even things at 5-5. Styler/Bickersteth went up 6-5 before the Longhorns forced the tiebreak, which went much the same as the match with Michigan taking an early 4-1 lead. Texas won the next two games to make it 4-3, but Styler/Bickersteth responded with back-to-back wins to take the 6-3 edge. The Longhorns then made it 6-5 before Michigan closed with the final two games.
Patrick Maloney and Nick Beaty made quick work of the No. 4 ranked duo of Cleeve Harper and Richard Ciamarra, winning 6-1. It is the highest-ranked pair that Maloney/Beaty have defeated this season as they are clean against ranked foes at 3-0.
No. 8 Siem Woldeab and Spizzirri took No. 1 doubles from No. 24 Nino Ehrenschneider and Fenty, 6-4. The Wolverine duo held a 4-1 lead before Texas rattled off five straight games for the win.
The long doubles point had an effect on No. 70 Bickersteth at No. 4, as No. 92 Richard Ciammara won in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 to snap Bickersteth’s seven-match win streak.
Moments later, Michigan regained the lead as No. 88 Maloney took matching 6-3 sets on No. 26 Michah Braswell. Maloney has yet to lose to a ranked opponent this season, with wins over foes ranked No. 11, 41, 86 and now 26. Maloney improves to 6-1 at No. 2 singles and 13-2 in dual play.
Harper was able to exact revenge on Beaty at No. 6 singles, winning 6-4, 6-2.
The crowd moved to the north side of the venue with close matches at Nos. 1, 3 and 5.
At No. 5, Ehrenschneider delivered his 12th consecutive victory to push Michigan into the lead at 3-2, winning both sets over Woldeab in tiebreakers. The first match was back-and-forth, with neither gaining more than one on the other. Ehrenschneider took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker, but Woldeab won four of the next five points to knot things at 4-4. Ehrenschneider closed with three of the final four points for the 7-5 decision. In the second set, Ehrenschneider fell behind 2-0 before rattling off four straight points to grab a 4-2 lead. Woldeab claimed a 6-5 edge before Ehrenschneider won the last game to force another tiebreaker. Again, Ehrenschneider fell behind 2-0 then won the next three for a 3-2 advantage. After dropping two points, he rattled off three straight for the 7-6 (4) win.
Michigan will take on familiar foe Ohio State in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday (May 19) at 7 pm CDT in Champaign, Ill.
Following are match-by-match results
No.1 — No.27 Ondrej Styler (UM) vs. No. 69 Eliot Spizzirri (Texas), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-6 (3-3) unfinished
No.2 — No.88 Patrick Maloney (UM) d. No. 26 Micah Braswell (Texas), 6-3, 6-3
No.3 — No.63 Andrew Fenty (UM) d. No. 34 Pierre-Yves Bailly (Texas), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 4 — No. 92 Richard Ciamarra (Texas) d. No.70 Jacob Bickersteth (UM), vs. 6-1 6-4
No.5 — No.77 Nino Ehrenschneider (UM) d. Siem Woldeab (Texas), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4)
No. 6 — Cleeve Harper (Texas) d. Nick Beaty (UM), 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 — No. 8 Siem Woldeab/Eliot Spizzirri (Texas) d. No.24 Nino Ehrenschneider/Andrew Fenty (UM), 6-4
No.2 — Patrick Maloney/Nick Beaty (UM) d. No. 4 Cleeve Harper/Richard Ciamarra (Texas), 6-1
No. 3 — Ondrej Styler/Jacob Bickersteth (UM) d. Chih Chi Huang/Eshan Talluri (Texas), 7-6 (5)
Order of Completion: Doubles 2-1-3, Singles 4-2-6-5-3