The LSU men’s tennis team fell to Michigan 5-2 on Sunday in what turned out to be something of a trap game following its upset win against No. 11 Texas A&M on Friday..
“We thought that after beating Texas A&M, Michigan was going to be a little easier,” said sophomore tennis player Chris Simpson.
The Tigers (6-7) found themselves in an early hole as Michigan (6-6) won the doubles point as both the duos of sophomore Chris Simpson and senior Mark Bowtell and seniors Roger Anderson and Olivier Borsos fell 8-5.
In singles, two quick, straight set losses by Bowtell and Borsos pushed the score to 3-0 for the Wolverines. LSU coach Jeff Brown said the Tigers cannot afford to give away so many easy points.
While those first two matches were decided in no time at all, the remaining four were drawn out to a third set.
“The guys that went to third sets did what they had to do,” Brown said. “[In tough matches] you just have to get to the third and fight it out.”
The Tigers got on the board after senior Stefan Szacinski defeated Vlad Stefan 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, but any hope for a come-from-behind victory was snuffed out when freshman Tam Trinh fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, clinching the match for Michigan.
LSU freshman Boris Arias, who sealed the win against A&M with a clutch three-set win, was unable to maintain his early success, losing 6-2, 2-6, 3-6.
“[Michigan] came out fighting,” Simpson said. “We had a couple of tough matches that if they go the other way, we win 4-3. We will get better from this experience.”
Despite the results of the overall match, Simpson beat No. 15 Evan King 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, making him the first Tiger to defeat a top 25 opponent this season.
“For us to waste the performance that Simpson had on [court] one against one of the most consistently top-ranked players in the country is a shame,” Brown said. “I hope the rest of the team takes that to heart.”
The Tigers will return to Southeastern Conference play when they take on No. 4 Ole Miss at 3 p.m. Friday at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.