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    Wildcats Win With Ease On Opening Day

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sidarth Balaji delivered a thrilling three-set win over Ball State's Dalton Albertin on Sunday.
    Sidarth Balaji delivered a thrilling three-set win over Ball State's Dalton Albertin on Sunday.

    Jan. 15, 2012


    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
    Score: Northwestern 6, Ball State 1
    Northwestern 7, UIC 0
    Records: NU (2-0), Ball State (0-1), UIC (0-2)
    Next NU Event: Friday, January 20 -- at Alabama, 5 p.m.

    NU 6, Ball State 1 Get Acrobat Reader

    NU 7, UIC 0 Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON-- Northwestern's men's tennis team opened the spring season with a pair of dual matches on Sunday, January 15 at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcats knocked off the Ball State Cardinals in the opener, 6-1, and in the nightcap the home team blanked the UIC Flames, 7-0.

    "I'm extremely happy with the way the guys competed all day," said Northwestern head coach Arvid Swan. "Ball State and UIC both bring talented lineups so we're pleased that we battled hard and came out on top in both matches."

    Tobias Reitz and Sidarth Balaji secured the 'Cats an early advantage as they were the first doubles tandem to win with an 8-4 victory over Ball State's Austin Sansone and Patrick Elliott. Raleigh Smith and Alex Pasareanu clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 win an 8-4 triumph. Spencer Wolf and Joshua Gravescompleted the sweep win an 8-6 win against Dalton Albertin and Zane Smith.

    The 'Cats continued to control the match as the focus shifted to singles play. Graves was the first to win with a 6-2, 6-0 victory and Wolf and Smith followed suit moments later with straight-set wins of their own.

    Balaji, playing in the top singles spot for Northwestern, engaged in perhaps the most exciting match of the early session against Albertin. After claiming victory in the first set, 6-3, Balaji fell behind early in the second set. A valiant rally ultimately fell short as he dropped the set, 5-7. In the tiebreaking third, Albertin jumped out to a 5-0 advantage before Balaji began to claw his way back. He refused to surrender and eventually claimed a thrilling 11-9 win to earn the sixth point for his team.

    The Wildcats cruised through all three doubles matches against UIC. Wolf and Graves won 8-0, Pasareanu and Smith picked up their second win of the day as a duo with an 8-2 victory and a pair of freshmen, Alberto Zanotti and Nikhil Jayashankarbested their opponents, 8-1.

    Jayashankar would notch NU's second point of the evening as he downed Gautham Oroskar with relative ease, 6-0, 6-1. Shortly thereafter, Wolf, Pasareanu and Graves all earned their second victories on the day, Wolf won 6-2, 6-1; Pasareanu won 6-2, 6-0 and Graves, playing at No. 1 in the evening session, downed Alex Raa, 6-1, 6-1.

    With a team win already in hand, Reitz and Smith followed suit with wins. Reitz bounced back to knock off Rahul Kamath, 6-2, 6-3. Moments later Smith secured the sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Nate Kirk.

    Northwestern will travel to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide on Friday, January 20 at 5 p.m.

    NU vs. Ball State:
    1. Wolf/Graves d. Albertin/Leonard (8-6)
    2. Pasareanu/R. Smith d. Z. Smith/Carpenter (8-5)
    3. Reitz/Balaji d. Sansone/Elliott (8-4)
    Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

    1. Balaji d. Albertin (6-3, 5-7, (11-9)
    2. Graves d. Z. Smith (6-2, 6-0)
    3. Wolf d. Leonard (6-3, 6-2)
    4. Brym d. Reitz (6-1, 6-4)
    5. R. Smith d. A. Smith (6-0, 6-1)
    6. Pasareanu d. Sansone (6-0, 6-4)
    Order of finish: 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 1

    NU vs. UIC
    1. Wolf/Graves d. Raa/Feoli (8-0)
    2. Pasareanu/Smith d. Kirk/Shepherdson (8-2)
    3. Jayashankar/Zanotti d. Oroskar/Kamath (8-1)
    Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

    1. Graves d. Raa (6-1, 6-0)
    2. Wolf d. Feoli (6-2, 6-1)
    3. Smith d. Kirk (6-3, 6-1)
    4. Reitz d. Kamath (6-2, 6-3)
    5. Pasareanu d. Pereira (6-2, 6-0)
    6. Jayashankar d. Oroskar (6-0, 6-1)
    Order of finish: 6, 2, 5, 1, 4, 3


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