Three matches in the state of Michigan will welcome the Princeton men's tennis team to the dual-meet season, which will get underway Thursday.
Western Michigan is Princeton's first stop for a 6 p.m. match Thursday, followed by a 7 p.m. match Friday at Michigan and a 2 p.m. match Saturday at Michigan State.
During the fall, Princeton players participated in eight events. Senior Matija Pecotic was the highlight of the fall, compiling a 26-2 record including 11-1 in matches against fellow nationally ranked players. Pecotic won top-flight singles titles at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational, the USTA Invitational and the USTA/ITA Regional. He also became the first Princetonian since 1982 to make the semifinals of the ITA All-America and won the consolation title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship.
In doubles with Zack McCourt, the pair went 13-2 with top-flight titles at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational, the USTA Invitational and the Penn Invitational.
Though another poll is scheduled to come out Wednesday, Michigan, at No. 20, and Michigan State, at No. 47, are ranked in the most recent ITA top 75, released Jan. 22. Individually, Pecotic received a No. 2 national ranking for his efforts when that ranking was announced Jan. 3, with another ranking not coming out until Feb. 12. In doubles, McCourt and Pecotic are ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Michigan's Vlad Stefan, at No. 48, was the only singles player ranked for any of Princeton's opponents this weekend. Michigan's Evan King and Shaun Bernstein are ranked No. 30 in doubles.
Western Michigan stands at 3-2 on the dual-meet season, most recently splitting home matches last Friday against IPFW (win) and UW Green Bay (loss). Michigan will enter the Princeton match at 2-1, with wins over TCU and Santa Clara and a loss at California as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Michigan State will enter the Princeton match at 4-2, also having split matches at the ITA Kick-Off event to Kentucky (loss) and South Carolina (win).
Princeton has little history with any of its opponents this weekend. The only match against any of the three came in 1911, when more than 100 years ago Michigan came to Princeton and the Tigers won 5-1.
Princeton's last match against a Big Ten team came last season at Penn State, a 4-3 Nittany Lion win. The last win over a Big Ten team was in 2011, when the Tigers swept Northwestern 7-0 in Evanston. Against the MAC, Princeton's last match was a 5-2 win over Buffalo last season in Jadwin Gym.