NCAA Mens Tennis

Comeback Hero Ozan Baris Named Big Ten Men’s Tennis Player of the Week

Comeback Hero Ozan Baris Named Big Ten Men's Tennis Player of the Week

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State Men’s Tennis’ Ozan Baris was named the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Player of the Week on Wednesday, April 4, for his clinch in MSU’s comeback against No. 19 Illinois and win on main court against No. 60 Northwestern.
Baris, a native of Okemos, Mich., claims his second player of the week honor after having won the award on April 19, 2023. The sophomore was also Big Ten Men’s Tennis Freshman of the Year in 2023 and first team all-conference. He is the second Spartan to garner the award this season after graduate student Ronald Hohmann III did on Feb. 28.
Baris went 2-0 at the top singles spot in Michigan State’s pair of ranked wins to start the Big Ten road slate and continue their perfect start in conference play. The singles wins boosted Baris to No. 10 in the ITA collegiate tennis rankings, remaining the top-ranked singles player in the Big Ten. The team wins improved MSU to 18-3 and 4-0 in conference play, just the third time the program has reached 18 wins in a season and best start to a conference season since winning the 1967 B1G Championship at 9-0.
On Saturday, Baris won the crucial deciding point as MSU came back from down 0-3 to beat No. 19 Illinois 4-3. Everything would come down to the main court matchup between the MSU sophomore Baris and Illinois’ 31st-ranked Karlis Ozolins. Baris dropped the first set 2-6 but congruently with his team, bounced back, winning the second set 6-4. In the deciding third set, down 1-3, Baris broke Ozolins twice and held serve to clinch the set 6-4, the match and the victory for MSU.
The win was the Spartans’ first over Illinois since March 24, 1997 as the Illini had claimed the previous 30 prior matchups prior. The last time MSU came back from three down to clinch the first-to-four victory was over Drake on Feb. 21, 2020.
On his 20th birthday Sunday, Baris and the Spartans defeated their counterpart in No. 60 Northwestern, 5-2. Baris came out on top in a hard-fought super tiebreaker at No. 1 singles, 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, [10-8], his fourth win in as many Big Ten matches as he secured his team-best 12th win of the Spring season. His singles season record now stands at 12-3 and 3-2 against ranked opponents.
Up next, Baris and the Spartans are in East Lansing for their final home weekend of the regular season, hosting Purdue on Saturday,…

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