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No. 34 Men's Tennis Completes Comeback Bid to Defeat No. 50 Michigan State 4-3 Sunday

Alejandro Espejo's win at the No. 3 singles position completed No. 34 Golden Hurricane's comeback bid as TU defeated No. 50 Michigan State 4-3 on Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center

Alejandro Espejo's win at the No. 3 singles position completed No. 34 Golden Hurricane's comeback bid as TU defeated No. 50 Michigan State 4-3 on Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center
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Feb. 16, 2014

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TULSA, Okla. - After trailing 3-0, the University of Tulsa men's tennis team won the final four singles matches as the Golden Hurricane completed the comeback bid and defeated Michigan State 4-3 on Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

I thought we showed a lot of character today as we fought our way back after digging such a large hole," head coach Vince Westbrook said. "Michigan State is a very good team and very much improved team from last year's NCAA first round. They played great and I thought we showed a lot of character making the comeback that we made."

Senior Clifford Marsland and sophomore Dylan McCloskey won the first doubles match, 8-2, at the No. 1 doubles position, but No. 50 Michigan State (4-5) won the second doubles match 8-3 at the No. 3 doubles position.

After senior Japie De Klerk and junior Alejandro Espejo trailed 7-5 in the final doubles match, the duo came back to tie it at seven forcing a tie-breaker. After scoring the first three points, MSU came back to tie it at three. With the score tied at five, the Spartans scored the final two points to win the set, 8-7, and the doubles point.

Michigan State increased its lead to 3-0 after wins at the No. 4 and No. 5 singles position, but No. 74 Marsland got No. 34 TU (8-5) on the board with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 2 singles position to cut MSU's lead 3-1.

No. 106 Japie De Klerk cut the Spartans lead, 3-2, after a 6-4, 7-5 win at the No. 1 singles position and freshman Daniel Santos' comeback victory tied the match at three.

Santos lost the first set 6-0, but won the second 6-2 and trailed 5-2 in the third set before he won five games in a row to win the set.

The match came down to the No. 3 singles position between Tulsa's Espejo and Michigan State's John Patrick Mullane. Espejo won the first 6-4, but fell in the second set 7-6 (3) to force a third set.

The Spartans captured a 3-1 lead in the third set, but Espejo battled back to tie the set at three by winning the next two games. Mullane won the next two games to take a 5-3 lead, but once again Espejo battled back to tie the set at five after winning the next two games.

Mullane won the next game for a 6-5 lead, but Espejo won the next game to tie it at six to force a tie-breaker. Mullane had a 5-3 lead in the tie-breaker, but Espejo won the next four points to win the tie-breaker, 7-5, and the set 7-6 to give the Golden Hurricane the match win.

The Golden Hurricane concludes its four-match homestand next weekend as TU hosts Texas A&M on Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and Oklahoma State on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

For all Tulsa men's tennis news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane. Follow Tulsa Men's Tennis on Twitter (http://twitter.com/TulsaMTennis) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TulsaMTennis).

No. 34 Tulsa 4, No. 50 Michigan State 3

Singles

1. #106 Japie De Klerk (TLS) d. Drew Lied (MSU) 6-4, 7-5

2. #74 Clifford Marsland (TLS) d. #125 Aaron Pfister (MSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

3. Alejandro Espejo (TLS) d. John Patrick Mullane (MSU) 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5)

4. Gijs Linders (MSU) d. Dylan McCloskey (TLS) 6-4, 6-3

5. Brett Forman (MSU) d. Carlos Bautista (TLS) 6-3, 6-3

6. Daniel Santos (TLS) d. Harry Jadun (MSU) 0-6, 6-2, 7-5

Order of Finish: 4, 5, 2, 1, 6, 3

Doubles

1. #20 Clifford Marsland/Dylan McCloskey (TLS) d. John Patrick Mullane/Drew Lied (MSU) 8-2

2. Gijs Linders/Harry Jadun (MSU) d. #47 Alejandro Espejo/Japie De Klerk (TLS) 8-7 (5)

3. Aaron Pfister/Brett Forman d. Daniel Santos/Matthew Kirby (TLS) 8-3

Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2