April 20, 2012
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Schwartz Tennis Center)
Score: Northwestern 5, Purdue 2
Records: NU (14-8, 7-3 Big Ten), Purdue (10-14, 2-8 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, April 22 -- vs. No. 36 Indiana (Evanston, Ill.), Noon
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Attempting to continue its best spring in three years, No. 44 Northwestern ran by Purdue Friday afternoon in West Lafayette to its 14th win of the season and its best conference mark since 2001.
The two programs appeared evenly matched at doubles, with Nos. 1 and 3 heading to extra games. Finishing first, however, were Raleigh Smith and Alex Pasareanu at No. 2. The two 'Cats fought off a few rallies by Szymon Tatarczyk and Krisztian Krocsko at various points to take an 8-5 win, their 14th match of the season.
NU's Sidarth Balaji and Tobias Reitz, playing together for the 15th time this season, finished shortly afterwards. Their match at No. 3 with Purdue's Pawel Poziomski and Mark Kovacs was of a tight battle consisting of five ties. Even though Balaji and Reitz forced a 7-7 tie late, Poziomski and Kovacs sealed the deal, taking the final two games in the 9-7 match.
Though the nation's No. 73 tandem, Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf, jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead over 73rd-ranked Diego Acosta and Aaron Dujovne, the Wildcat pair suffered the same fate. Graves and Wolf kept things close towards the end, but losing five consecutive games in the middle of the match did them in. The 9-7 defeat clinched the doubles point for Purdue. It marked only the second time in nine matches that NU dropped the doubles point.
It didn't take long for Northwestern to bounce back in singles, though. Raleigh Smith
surged first for the `Cats with his quick, two-set win over the Boilermakers' Szymon Tatarczyk. Smith soundly defeated the Purdue sophomore, 6-3, 6-4, evening the ledger at 1-1.
At No. 1, Josh Graves followed suit with a two-set win of his own, though with a little more of a fight. Mark Kovacs kept things close in both sets, inching closer to rallying past Graves, but the senior Wildcat powered past in both, securing a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
It was Purdue's turn to even things up after Aaron Dujovne defeated NU freshman Alex Pasareanu, 7-5, 6-2. Pasareanu stayed close in the first, but a pair of 3-1 runs by Dujovne in the second sealed it for the Boilermaker.
With things knotted at 2-2 and three courts remaining, it was anyone's match. NU's Sidarth Balaji turned the tables, however, with his three-set win over Krisztian Krocsko. Balaji took the first set with relative ease, but narrowly lost the second. The third set between the two juniors was a back-and-forth affair, but Balaji came out unscathed in a tiebreaker to win the match, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, putting the Wildcats within one win of earning their seventh conference victory of the season.
Spencer Wolf, ranked 124th in the country, clinched the match for Northwestern at No. 2. Wolf outlasted Purdue's Diego Acosta in three sets, winning the first, 6-4, falling in the second, 6-3, and taking the final, 7-5, for his 14th win of the spring.
Following shortly behind was Chris Jackman who battled Evan Hawkins in a lengthy three-set match. Jackman was the first Wildcat to finish his first set with his 6-1 win, but Hawkins took the second, 7-6, in a scrappy set with a tiebreaker. Jackman breezed by in the third, however, 6-2, to help NU to its 14th overall and seventh Big Ten win of the season.
Up next, the Wildcats return home to face No. 31 Indiana in its regular season finale at noon on Sunday. Northwestern is set to host the men's Big Ten Tennis Tournament beginning Thursday, April 26.
1: No. 73 Diego Acosta/Aaron Dujovne (PUR) No. 72 Spencer Wolf/Josh Graves (NU) - 9-7
2: Raleigh Smith/Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Szymon Tatarczyk/Krisztian Krocsko (PUR) - 8-5
3: Pawel Poziomski/Mark Kovacs (PUR) def. Sidarth Balaji/Tobias Reitz (NU) - 9-7
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*
1: Josh Graves (NU) def. Mark Kovacs (PUR) - 7-5, 7-5
2: No. 124 Spencer Wolf (NU) def. Diego Acosta (PUR) - 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
3: Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Szymon Tatarczyk (PUR) - 6-3, 6-4
4: Sidarth Balaji (NU) def. Krisztian Krocsko (PUR) - 6-3, 4-6, 7-6
5: Aaron Dujovne (PUR) def. Alex Pasareanu (NU) - 7-5, 6-2
6: Chris Jackman (NU) def. Evan Hawkins (PUR) - 6-1, 6-7, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 1, 5, 2*, 6
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!