April 29, 2010
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Indiana University Tennis Center)
Score: No. 9 seed Northwestern 4, No. 8 seed Penn State 3
Records: No. 63 Northwestern (10-14, 2-9 Big Ten), No. 59 Penn State (15-11, 10-6 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: April 30, 2010 -- vs. Ohio State (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 a.m. CT (Big Ten Tournament)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern avenged its final regular season loss, a heartbreaker to Penn State last Sunday afternoon, and snapped a seven-match losing streak by defeating the Nittany Lions in the opening match of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament hosted by Indiana. Chris Jackman (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) defeated PSU's Taylor Cohen for the second time in five days in a titanic three-setter at No. 6 to clinch it for the 'Cats. NU advances to face No. 1 seed Ohio State Friday morning at 7 a.m CT.
"Winning the doubles point was a great first step today," said head coach Arvid Swan. "In singles, the lineups were the same so Spencer and Andrew were able to avenge their losses from Sunday. Chris played a tough match at No. 6 to win it for us."
Up next is fourth-ranked Ohio State, who the 'Cats faced in their penultimate regular season dual last Friday, April 23. The 6-1 decision was closer than it seemed as NU had chances at No. 1 to clinch doubles and Joshua Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) just missed an upset of No. 10 Chase Buchanan at No. 1 singles.
"Ohio State will be a difficult opponent," said Swan. "We played well against them this past weekend and we will need the same kind of effort tomorrow."
Unlike Sunday, the 'Cats emerged from doubles with a 1-0 lead behind victories at No. 1 and No. 3. Sidarth Balaji (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) and Andrew McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) took out Jason Lee and Taylor Cohen with an easy win at No. 3, 8-2.
PSU evened it up with a win at No. 2, but Graves and Spencer Wolf (Coral Springs, Fla./Laurel Springs) managed to defeat Eddie Bourchier and Guillaume St-Maurice, 8-6, to clinch it for the 'Cats.
Bourchier took out Graves in straight sets at No. 1, to even it up for Penn State at 1-all. Northwestern regained the lead when McCarthy took a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Bryan Welnetz at No. 4. Welnetz had won their previous matchup on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Spencer Wolf also avenged his loss from Sunday, taking out the Nittany Lions' Warren Hardie. The Wildcat freshman jumped to the early lead, taking the first frame 6-2. Hardie came back in the second set, but Wolf toughed it out in a breaker, 7-4, to hand the 'Cats a 3-1 lead.
Penn State's Ryan Gormley and Guillaume St-Maurice each lost in Sunday's match, but managed to win their matches over Sidarth Balaji and Alex Sanborn, respectively on Thursday. These two victories tied it up at 3-all, with the dual hanging in the balance at No. 6.
In Sunday's match, Jackman edged out Taylor Cohen in two tight sets and Thursday's rematch was just as close. The Wildcat freshman took the first set in a breaker, before dropping the second frame in another tiebreak.
With the dual on the line, the third set between Jackman and Cohen was even to start. At 3-all, Jackman gained an advantage and the necessary break to reel off three consecutive games and win it, 6-3.
With today's result, the 'Cats reach double digits in wins for the second consecutive season. Again, they play Ohio State Friday morning at 7 a.m. CT.
#63 Northwestern 4, #59 Penn State 3
1. #93 Eddie Bourchier (PSU) def. #97 Joshua Graves (NU) 6-2, 6-0
2. Ryan Gormley (PSU) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
3. Spencer Wolf (NU) def. Warren Hardie (PSU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Andrew McCarthy (NU) def. Bryan Welnetz (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Guillame St-Maurice (PSU) def. Alex Sanborn (NU) 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-5)
6. Chris Jackman (NU) def. Taylor Cohen (PSU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-7, 6-3
1. #84 Joshua Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) def. #54 Eddie Bourchier/Guillame St-Maurice (PSU) 8-6
2. Ryan Gormley/Warren Hardie (PSU) def. Tobias Reitz/Alex Sanborn (NU) 8-6
3. Sidarth Balaji/Andrew McCarthy (NU) def. Taylor Cohen/Jason Lee (PSU) 8-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,4,3,2,5,6)