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Men's Tennis Starts Slow But Wins, 4-1

March 4, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's 37th-ranked men's tennis team struggled a bit but defeated Western Michigan, 4-1, in first-round action Friday at the HEB Invitational in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Blue Raiders (10-2) lost the doubles point and were down in the final two matches on the court when Marco Born sealed the victory with a three-set triumph at No. 2 singles. Head coach Dale Short was a little irritated with his team's effort as the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

"We got off to a slow start and really struggled," Short said. "[Western Michigan] came out really fired up and took it to us. I hope we learn from that because it was much more difficult than the score indicated."

The Broncos won the doubles point, though Born and Andreas Siljestrom remained undefeated in doubles play.

The 30th-ranked Middle Tennessee duo defeated Jose Orozco and Bryan Norville, 8-6, at No. 2 to move to 12-0 in dual matches this season. But Greg Pollack and Anant Sitaram dropped an 8-3 decision to Tim Bradshaw and Jeff French at No. 3 before the 41st-ranked Blue Raider tandem of Brandon Allan and Kai Schledorn lost 9-8 (6) at No. 1 to Tommy Dennis and Brady Crosby in the deciding match.

The Blue Raiders won three singles matches in straight sets, with Schledorn taking a 6-4, 6-0, decision over Crosby at No. 3, while Sitaram won 6-2, 6-3, over Bradshaw at No. 4 and Pollack defeated Alejandro Staub, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 6.

The Broncos held a match point at No. 5, with Alex Birchmeier leading Allan, and Dennis led 1-0 in the third set against 87th-ranked Siljestrom at No. 1.

Born won the deciding point despite sickness throughout much of the match, defeating Orozco, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

"I was really proud of the way Marco played and really fought hard. He was sick most of the match and really had to dig deep. It he doesn't win his match, the final score really comes down to the wire," Short added.

The Blue Raiders take on host and 52nd-ranked Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at noon Saturday. TAMU-CC defeated 70th-ranked Nebraska, 4-0, on Friday.

#37 Middle Tennessee 4, Western Michigan 1
SINGLES

1. (87) Andreas Siljestrom (MT) vs. Tommy Dennis (WMU), DNF
2. Marco Born (MT) def. Jose Orozco (WMU), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. Kai Schledorn (MT) def. Brady Crosby (WMU), 6-4, 6-0
4. Anant Sitaram (MT) def. Tim Bradshaw (WMU), 6-2, 6-3
5. Brandon Allan (MT) vs. Alex Birchmeier (WMU), DNF
6. Greg Pollack (MT) def. Alejandro Staub (WMU), 6-2, 6-0

DOUBLES
1. Dennis-Crosby (WMU) def. (41) Allan-Schledorn (MT), 9-8 (6)
2. (30) Siljestrom-Born (MT) def. Orozco-Bryan Norville (WMU), 8-6
3. Bradshaw-Jeff French (WMU) def. Pollack-Sitaram (MT), 8-3

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