Apr. 4, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 37 Northwestern began the weekend well with a 6-1 victory over No. 43 Michigan Friday evening. With its second Big Ten win of the season, the Wildcats improve to 13-9 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
After testing a different doubles lineup last weekend, head coach Arvid Swan brought back the 30th-ranked doubles team of senior Raleigh Smith and sophomore Mihir Kumar at No. 1. The duo had been on a rocky stretch a month ago, but the pair returned in force to defeat its Wolverine opponents 8-3.
Michigan then claimed an 8-4 win at No. 3 to even the score, which turned attention to freshmen Sam Shropshire and Konrad Zieba at No. 2. Down 3-5 at one point, the `Cats surged back to win five straight games and triumph 8-5, securing the doubles point for NU.
In singles play, Shropshire increased the Wildcat advantage to 2-0 after defeating Shaun Bernstein 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2. The victory marks his third outright win in a row and increases his unbeaten streak to eight.
Junior Alex Pasareanu then topped Michael Zhu 6-3, 6-4 at No. 6 to put the `Cats up 3-0, and Northwestern sealed the victory with freshman Strong Kirchheimer's 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 5.
With the match decided, play finished out at the remaining contests. Zieba defeated Justin Rossi 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 3 to give the `Cats another point. No. 37 Smith rallied back to win his second set 7-5 after dropping the first, but Michigan's No. 115 Alex Petrone was able to complete the upset 6-4, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6), giving the Wolverines their first point.
Kumar wrapped the evening with a fierce battle at No. 4 that featured three tiebreakers. After a first set loss, the sophomore gutted out a 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-8) victory over Alex Buzzi to post the final score of 6-1
NU continues its weekend schedule on Sunday, when it hosts Michigan State at noon and IUPUI at 7 p.m.
#37 Northwestern 6, #43 Michigan 1
1. #30 Raleigh Smith / Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Barrett Franks / Alex Buzzi (UM) 8-3
2. Sam Shropshire / Konrad Zieba (NU) def. Shaun Bernstein / Kevin Wong 8-5
3. Alex Petrone / Michael Zhu (UM) def. Fedor Baev / Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*
1. #115 Alex Petrone (UM) def. #37 Raleigh Smith (NU) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6)
2. #113 Sam Shropshire (NU) def. Shaun Bernstein (UM) 6-4, 6-2
3. Konrad Zieba (NU) def. Justin Rossi (UM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
4. Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Alex Buzzi (UM) 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-8)
5. Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Barrett Franks (UM) 7-5, 6-2
6. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Michael Zhu (UM) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 6, 5*, 3, 1, 4
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