On an icy cold afternoon, Michigan State Men’s Tennis was able to get off to a hot start against the Toledo Rockets, winning 4-3.
In doubles, the Spartans were able to win two of the three sets, clinching one point for the game, which would eventually clinch a match win for the Spartans. Michigan State’s first doubles pair of of Anthony Pero and John Carlin dropped their set 2-6 to Toledo. MSU’s second team of Jarreau Campell and Drew Keene had the match of the day. The match went back and forth — literally, until it went to an extra period where Campbell took over to give Michigan State a win in that match.
On match point, Campbell ran from the other side of the court to just get under the ball to win the match. Campbell discussed what was going through his head in that crucial moment.
"I saw that they were trying to go cross court, so I sprinted over there," Campbell said, "that’s all practice.”
In the third doubles match, MSU’s pairing of Kazuki Matsuno and Josh Mukherjee dominated their matchup by winning 6-1.
In singles, the Spartans were tested, splitting the six matches 3-3.
Mukherjee had himself quite a day in his singles match as well. The junior from Bloomfield Hills won his first set in a landslide, 6-2. His second set saw more competition from Toledo’s Max Skaer. After being up 4-2, Skaer brought it within one set at 5-4, before Mukherjee pulled away.
After losing in his doubles match, Pero bounced back in a big way in his singles match against Toledo’s Cole Shoults. In his first set, Pero controlled throughout, defeating Shoults 6-3. In his second set, Pero dominated, winning 6-0.
Carson Gates didn’t participate in doubles, but thrived in singles by contributing a win against Krzysztof Wetoszka in back to back sets 7-6 and 6-3.
However, the Spartans could not clinch every match as junior John Carlin faced a buzz saw of an opponent with senior Danilo Vukotic. Vukotic won both sets 6-3, giving Toledo a much-needed point for the day. In addition, Drew Keene fell just short in his two matches losing to Toledo Senior Filip Zupancic, who was ecstatic after defeating Keene.
After being a part of a thriller in doubles, Campbell found himself in yet another nail biter, but fell short to Luis Kleinschnitz in three sets (6-4, 5-7, and 6-3).
“It was his first college dual match, it's always a new experience for them," coach Gene Orlando said. "He was right in there to win the match, and that's all you can ask.”
After the match, Orlando was happy with his team's performance and loved their grit.
“I saw a great group of competitors and I liked how we fought," he said. "Toledo pushed us to the distance, and that’s what you want ... you want to be tested.”
Freshman Campbell and the green and white are looking to continue their good start to the season when they travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to take on Middle Tennessee State on Friday.
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