April 22, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 44 Northwestern hosted the 36th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the visitors escaped Evanston with a 6-1 win in the regular season finale for both teams at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center.
"It was a disappointing result today," said Northwestern head coach Arvid Swan. "I don't think it was indicative of the type of team we've been this season, but we have to learn from it and prepare ourselves for the Big Ten Tournament next weekend."
Northwestern finished the 2012 regular season with seven wins in its 11 Big Ten matches, its most since the 2001 campaign. The last time the Wildcats won six conference clashes was in 2009, the last season that they participated in the NCAA Tournament.
Sunday started out on a promising note when NU's top doubles team of Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf got their team out to a good start. Ranked No. 74 in the country as a duo by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the Wildcats took down Indiana's 90th-ranked tandem of Isade Juneau and Jeremy Langer, 8-4. It was the third consecutive win together for Wolf and Graves and their sixth overall in Big Ten play this season.
The Hoosiers were able to quickly even the ledger at a match apiece, however, when the formidable pairing of Josh MacTaggart and Alastair Barnes defeated Northwestern's Alex Pasareanu and Raleigh Smith by the familiar score of 8-4. Though they came up short Sunday, Pasareanu and Smith led the squad in doubles wins during the regular season with 13, including six in Big Ten matches.
The point would be handed out to the winner of the third and final doubles match contested between Tobias Reitz and Sidarth Balaji of the 'Cats and Stephen Vogl and his partner, Will Kendall, of IU. In the tightest doubles dual of the day, the Hoosiers outlasted the Wildcats, 9-7, to grab a one-point edge at the break.
Indiana played up to its high billing when singles play began as well. Vogl and Balaji battled on the singles court as they had done in doubles and unfortunately for the home team, the result was no different. Vogl polished off Balaji in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.
Wolf, who entered play as the 124th-ranked singles player according to the ITA, was undone in the No. 2 singles match by the energetic MacTaggart, 6-2, 6-1. Soon after their tussle concluded, Juneau emerged victoriously against Graves, 7-5, 6-1 to secure his team's 21st win of the spring season.
Though team victory was unattainable, the Wildcats continued to compete at high level in front of the home crowd. Pasareanu achieved the lone point of the day for NU with a straight-set win over Kendall at No. 5, while Smith and Chris Jackman both forced decisive third sets after dropping the opening frame in their respective matches.
Jackman and Dimitrije Tasic played a full set because they began before the overall outcome had been decided. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Tasic rallied to win six of the next seven games to win the match. Smith and Langer engaged in a super tiebreaker, which Langer survived with ease, 10-1.
Prior to the start of the match, Swan, assistant coach Chris Klingemann and the 'Cats paid tribute to Graves, Reitz and classmate Eric Spector in a brief Senior Day ceremony.
The Wildcats will shift their attention to this week's Big Ten Tournament, which they will host for the first time since 2003, beginning Thursday, April 26. More information about the four-day event can be found on the Tournament Central page.
1. No. 74 Josh Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) def. No. 90 Isade Juneau/Jeremy Langer (IU) - 8-4
2. Josh MacTaggart/Alastair Barnes (IU) def. Alex Pasareanu/Raleigh Smith (NU) - 8-4
3. Stephen Vogl/Will Kendall (IU) def. Sidarth Balaji/Tobias Reitz (NU) - 9-7
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3*
1. Isade Juneau (IU) def. Josh Graves (NU) - 7-5, 6-1
2. Josh MacTaggart (IU) def. No. 124 Spencer Wolf (NU) - 6-2, 6-1
3. Jeremy Langer (IU) def. Raleigh Smith (NU) - 6-2, 4-6 (10-1)
4. Stephen Vogl (IU) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) - 6-1, 6-3
5. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Will Kendall (IU) - 6-4, 6-4
6. Dimitrije Tasic (IU) def. Chris Jackman (NU) - 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
7. Order of finish: 4, 2, 1*, 5, 6, 3
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