Jan. 22, 2012
Site:Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Score: Northwestern 6, William & Mary 1
Records: NU (4-0), William & Mary (2-2)
Next NU Event: Saturday, February 4 -- vs. Western Michigan (Evanston, Ill.), 11 a.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern ran its unbeaten streak in dual matches to four Sunday as it knocked off the visiting William & Mary Tribe at Combe Tennis Center, 6-1. The Wildcats swept three doubles contests and won a thrilling three-set singles battle to earn the homecourt victory.
"The story today was our depth," said Northwestern head coach Arvid Swan. "The way Alex [Pasareanu] came back the way he did from the number five position and the way Raleigh [Smith] and Nikhil [Jayashankar] found ways to win close matches was very impressive. All three of those players are underclassmen and they are learning to what it takes to win at this level."
Josh Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) and Spencer Wolf (Coral Springs, Fla./Laurel Springs) ran their record to a perfect 4-0 on the young season as they defeated William & Mary's top pair of Anton Andersson and Glenview, Ill. native, Ben Hoogland quickly and with relative ease, 8-1.
On court four, the match between the number two doubles squads was an intense, back-and-forth affair. Northwestern's Alex Pasareanu (Bluffton, S.C./Heritage Academy) and Raleigh Smith (Gulliver Prep) fell behind early to the Tribe's Ben Guthrie and Ilja Orre. Trailing by as many as three games, the Wildcats rallied and pulled off their third win as a tandem, 8-6, to secure the doubles point for Northwestern.
At the No. 3 doubles position, Sidarth Balaji (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) and Tobias Reitz found themselves in a dogfight with John Banks and Robert Pietrucha. For the second straight time, Balaji and Reitz needed to go the pro-set tiebreaker to determine the outcome and for the second straight time, they emerged victorious. The win ensured that the 'Cats have swept all three doubles matches in three of their four duals this season.
Wolf earned the first singles point of the afternoon for his team when he took out William & Mary's Will Juggins in straight sets 6-0, 6-4. The Tribe got on the scoreboard next when Andersson defeated Balaji in the No. 1 singles match. Andersson won the first set, 6-2, before Balaji breezed through the second, winning 6-1. Andersson, however, outlasted the Wildcat in the third, 6-2, to earn his team's first point of the day.
Northwestern bounced right back behind Smith's straight-set win against Banks. The Wildcats' sophomore won, 7-5, 6-2, to give his team a 3-1 advantage on the scoreboard.
Pasareanu rallied from one set down to outlast Hoogland at the No. 5 position. After dropping the opening stanza, 3-6, the freshman won 7-5, 6-3 to secure the win for his team. Pasareanu led the third set, 5-0, but held off a furious rally by Hoogland to win the match.
Another freshman, Nikhil Jayashankar (Saratoga, Calif./Saratoga) stepped in to the No. 6 slot and posted his third consecutive win. Jayashankar won a tight match against Pietrucha, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Graves closed out the festivities with a three-set win against Adrian Vodislav, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
The Wildcats will take a 13-day break from competition and return to Combe Tennis Center on Saturday, February 4 to face the Western Michigan Broncos. The 'Cats defeated the Broncos last season in Evanston, 4-3.
1. Anton Andersson (W&M) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) - 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
2. Josh Graves (NU) def. Anton Vodislav (W&M) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
3. Spencer Wolf (NU) def. Will Juggins (W&M) - 6-0, 6-4
4. Raleigh Smith (NU) def. John Banks (W&M) - 7-5, 6-2
5. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Ben Hoogland (W&M) - 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
6. Nikhil Jayashankar (NU) def. Robert Pietrucha (W&M) - 7-6 (2), 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 1, 4, 5*, 6, 2
1. Josh Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) def. Anton Andersson/Ben Hoogland (W&M) - 8-1
2. Alex Pasareanu/Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Ben Guthrie/Ilja Orre (W&M) - 8-6
3. Tobias Reitz/Sidarth Balaji (NU) def. John Banks/Robert Pietrucha (W&M) - 9-8 (8-6)
Order of finish: 1, 2*, 3
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