March 29, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern played with a great deal of intensity and heart, but was unable to get the best of 16th-ranked Illinois, falling 7-0. The Wildcats drop to 7-10 on the season and will continue to search for their first Big Ten victory this season.
Northwestern lost the doubles point and went down 1-0 after losing tight matches at all three courts. At No. 1, Marc Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga./Independent Study H.S.) and Alex Sanborn (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) gave a hard fought effort against the 22nd-ranked duo before ultimately falling in a heartbreaker, 9-8.
After going down early, Andrew McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) and Juan Gomez (Mexico City, Mexico/South Florida) fought back to a tie at No. 3, but were unable to hang on and fell 9-7. At No. 2, Peter Rispoli (Naples, Fla./St. Stephens (Texas)) and Alexander Thams (Stockholm, Sweden/Enskilda Gymnasiet) fell, 8-4.
At No. 1 singles, Dwyer was the first to fall in his match 6-4, 6-3, giving Illinois a 2-0 match lead. Shortly thereafter, the Fighting Illini took a 3-0 advantage when Alexander Thams was defeated at No. 3, 6-2, 6-2.
Northwestern continued to fight hard, but Peter Rispoli lost at No. 4 to 76th-ranked Billy Heiser, 6-1, 6-3, and Illinois was able to clinch the match going up 4-0 for the day. At No. 5, Andrew McCarthy was still looking for his first dual singles win of the season, but was barely outdone by his opponent and fell 6-4, 6-3.
The match of the day was at No. 2, where sophomore captain Alex Sanborn took on ninth-ranked Ryan Rowe. Sanborn certainly gave Rowe some great competition in a match full of back-and-forth rallies, but lost in the end 7-5, 6-4.
At No. 6, Juan Gomez
battled with endurance and intensity, hoping to earn a point for the 'Cats. However, in a match that well-outlasted the others, Gomez just wasn't able to pull out the victory and was defeated 7-6, 7-6.
Northwestern still has its chance at Big Ten redemption this weekend when they face-off with 66th-ranked Purdue at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Combe Tennis Center. The Wildcats have faired well with the 66th-ranked Boilermakers in their program history, leading the all-time series, 61-17-2.
1. Ruben Gonzales (ILL) def. Marc Dwyer (NU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. Alex Sanborn (NU) 7-5, 6-4
3. Marc Spicijaric (ILL) def. Alexander Thams (NU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Billy Heiser (ILL) def. Peter Rispoli (NU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Waylon Chin (ILL) def. Andrew McCarthy (NU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Abe Souza (ILL) def. Juan Gomez (NU) 7-6, 7-6
1. Brandon Davis/Ruben Gonzales (ILL) def. Marc Dwyer/Alex Sanborn (NU) 9-8
2. Billy Heiser/Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. Peter Rispoli/Alexander Thams (NU) 8-4
3. Marc Spicijaric/Connor Roth (ILL) def. Andrew McCarthy/Juan Gomez (NU) 9-7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,3,4,5,2,6)