Apr. 18, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 35 Northwestern rolled to a 7-0 home victory over Wisconsin to start its last weekend of regular season play. With their sixth consecutive victory, the Wildcats improve to 18-9 on the season and 6-4 in Big Ten competition.
The doubles point took three matches to decide, but the `Cats were able to win two to go up 1-0. Wisconsin opened with an 8-4 win at No. 1, where Alexander Kokorev and Petr Satral upset No. 33 Raleigh Smith and Mihir Kumar. However, sophomore Fedor Baev and freshman Strong Kirchheimer answered with key mid-match breaks to achieve an 8-5 victory at No. 3.
Freshman Sam Shropshire and junior Alex Pasareanu, a new doubles pairing for the season, played the decisive contest at No. 2. Though they were the last to finish, the match was never much in question as they secured an 8-3 win over their Badger opponents, giving NU the point.
In singles play, freshman Konrad Zieba wasted no time in claiming a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Elliott Sprecher at No. 3. Ending his match with an ace, he increased the Wildcat advantage to 2-0.
The next three matches finished back-to-back within seconds of each other, all of which were NU wins. No. 58 Smith worked through a break-heavy first set to triumph 6-3, 6-1 over Petr Satral at No. 1. Kirchheimer continued his incredible winning streak at No. 5, beating Michael Sinha 6-3, 6-1 to secure his tenth straight singles win. Kumar then defeated John Zordani 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4.
Play continued at No. 2 and 6 to conclude the afternoon. Pasareanu extended his winning streak to seven with a victory at No. 6, besting Frederik Stabo 6-4, 6-0.
The match at No. 2 was a thrilling affair. After dropping a close first set, No. 112 Shropshire clinched the second frame to force a deciding super-breaker. Though Northwestern had already secured the win, the atmosphere became tense as Shropshire battled to remain unbeaten against Big Ten opponents. In the end, the freshman prevailed 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 1-0 (10-7) over Alexander Kokorev to secure his tenth straight victory and improve to 9-0 in conference singles play.
The `Cats finish the regular season with a noon contest on Sunday against No. 51 Minnesota. At the match, NU will honor the team's only senior Raleigh Smith for Senior Day.
#35 Northwestern 7, Wisconsin 0
1. Alexander Kokorev / Petr Satral (WISC) def. #33 Raleigh Smith / Mihir Kumar (NU) 8-4
2. Sam Shropshire / Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Jakhongir Jalalov / John Zordani (WISC) 8-3
3. Fedor Baev / Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Michael Sinha / Elliott Sprecher (WISC) 8-5
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*
1. #58 Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Petr Satral (WISC) 6-3, 6-1
2. #112 Sam Shropshire (NU) def. Alexander Kokorev (WISC) 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 1-0 (10-7)
3. Konrad Zieba (NU) def. Elliott Sprecher (WISC) 6-1, 6-1
4. Mihir Kumar (NU) def. John Zordani (WISC) 6-1, 6-2
5. Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Michael Sinha (WISC) 6-3, 6-1
6. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Frederik Strabo (WISC) 6-4, 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 1, 5*, 4, 6, 2
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