April 28, 2011
Site: Madison, Wis. (A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center)
Score: #50 Michigan State 4, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (11-14, 2-8 Big Ten), Michigan State (18-8, 3-7 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Season Complete
MADISON, Wis. -- As it did just six days ago, Northwestern pushed 50th-ranked Michigan State to the brink in four three-set singles matches and a pair of tight doubles outcomes, but the Wildcats could not get over the top in a 4-2 loss in the 8-9 match of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Thursday at Wisconsin.
Northwestern completes its 2011 campaign with a double-digit win total (11) for the third-straight season under head coach Arvid Swan.
After Michigan State won the first match off the courts -- an 8-6 outcome at No. 3 doubles by Jason Norville and Mat Nelson over Chris Jackman and Raleigh Smith -- Northwestern responded with a victory at No. 2. Senior Andrew McCarthy and junior Tobias Reitz won their fourth consecutive match, topping Austin Brooks and Aaron Pfister, 8-4.
That left the doubles point to be decided on the No. 1 line, where Joshua Graves and Spencer Wolf were in a tight match with MSU's John Stratton and Drew Lied. The Spartan duo seized a 7-6 lead before Graves and Wolf won the next game to level things at seven, but Michigan State pulled out the ensuing two games to win 9-7 and clinch the 1-0 lead entering singles.
Michigan State took a 2-0 lead with a win by Ronnie Hulewicz at No. 5 before McCarthy got one back for the Wildcats with his swift 6-2, 6-4 win over John Stratton at No. 4. It was the third win in a row for NU's lone senior, who wrapped up his final campaign with a 12-7 dual record and a 17-8 mark in dual doubles matches.
The teams traded the next two outcomes with MSU's Austin Brooks defeating Northwestern sophomore Sidarth Balaji in three sets, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, and NU's Chris Jackman topping Drew Lied, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The victory avenged a two-set loss to Lied last week for Jackman, who was 9-6 at the No. 6 position for the Wildcats in 2011.
The clinching point came on the No. 1 line, where NU's Joshua Graves and Michigan State's Denis Bogatov found themselves battling to a 7-6 third-set score for the second time in less than a week. Bogatov was able to find the winners in the set tiebreaker, defeating Graves 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (4) to sew up Michigan State's trip to the second round.
Sophomore Spencer Wolf also pushed his opponent, Aaron Pfister, to a third set, where Wolf trailed 5-3 when the match was abandoned.
No. 50 Michigan State 4, Northwestern 2
1: Denis Bogatov (MSU) def. Joshua Graves (NU), 6-1, 4-6, 7-6
2: Aaron Pfister (MSU) vs. Spencer Wolf (NU), 2-6, 7-6, 5-3 (unfinished)
3: Austin Brooks (MSU) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
4: Andrew McCarthy (NU) def. John Stratton (MSU), 6-2, 6-4
5: Ronnie Hulewicz (MSU) def. Raleigh Smith (NU), 6-1, 6-1
6: Chris Jackman (NU) def. Drew Lied (MSU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
1: Stratton/Lied (MSU) def. Graves/Wolf (NU), 9-7
2: McCarthy/Reitz (NU) def. Brooks/Pfister (MSU), 8-4
3: Norville/Nelson (MSU) def. Jackman/Smith (NU), 8-6
Order of Finish:
Singles (5, 4, 3, 6, 1*)
Doubles (3, 2, 1*)
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