May 8, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 42 Northwestern dropped its first round match in the NCAA Championships to No. 18 Wake Forest Friday morning at the University of Kentucky's Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Wake Forest escaped with a hard-fought doubles point and won at the top three singles spots to take the 4-0 victory. The Demon Deacons went on to upset No. 11 Kentucky, winning the regional and advancing to the round of 16.
"The guys accomplished a lot this year, going from 7-17 to 18-9 and making the tournament," said second-year head coach Arvid Swan. "With the senior leadership that we had this year and the contributions that they made to the program, I think the program is going in the right direction. That's been exhibited by the way the guys worked hard and practiced and competed well in matches throughout the season."
In their first NCAA appearance since 2005, the Wildcats came out of the gates with strong play in doubles. At No. 2, the pair of Joshua Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) and Tobias Reitz (Reinbeck, Germany/Sachsenwaldschule Reinbeck) exchanged opening breaks with Iain Atkinson and Carlos Salmon to start the match. An acrobatic get from Graves secured another break that the `Cats' held onto until the eight game.
Tied at 6-all in the set, NU broke for the opportunity to serve it out. The `Cats saved a break point chance but the Demon Deacon tandem managed to stay alive. The two teams then each held to force a tiebreak at 8-all. Wake Forest was leading, 3-1, before the match was left unfinished.
The sixth-ranked tandem of Steven Forman and Cory Parr defeated NU's Alex Sanborn (Kinkaid, Texas) and Marc Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga./University of Nebraska -- Independent Study H.S.) at No. 1 with an 8-5 decision.
No. 3 doubles between NU's Andrew McCarthy
(Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hills) and Alexander Thams
(Stockholm, Sweden/Enskilda Gymnasiet) and Wake's Jonathan Wolff and David Hopkins was just as tight as No. 2. The two pairs traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games before settling down with solid play and long volley exchanges. Up 6-5, the Wildcats failed to capitalize on two break point chances and the Demon Deacons broke in the next game to take the lead. They served it out to win the doubles point, 8-6.
Wake Forest's second point of the match came at No. 1 singles where No. 10 Cory Parr won his 30th match of the season with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Marc Dwyer.
At No. 2 singles, Demon Deacon Steven Forman took a 6-1 first set over Alexander Thams with a strong serve and well-targeted groundstrokes. Thams fought his way back in the second to 4-all, but Forman managed to secure a break. The Wildcat then rolled his ankle, taking an injury timeout, and Forman pulled out the set, 6-4.
Jonathan Wolff clinched it for Wake Forest with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tobias Reitz at No. 3 singles. The remaining three matches were left unfinished due to the postseason format that ends duals once they have been decided.
Joshua Graves was down a set to David Hopkins at No. 4, but the two were on serve in the second set. The Wildcat southpaw opened the match with a break only to have Hopkins break back immediately and take the momentum for the set.
At No. 5, Iain Atkinson was up by a 7-5, 3-0 score over NU captain Alex Sanborn. Andrew McCarthy's match at No. 6 against Jason Morgenstern was still on serve in the first set when the dual was decided.
#18 Wake Forest 4, #42 Northwestern 0
No. 1 -- #6 Forman/Parr (WF) def. Dwyer/Sanborn (NU), 8-5
No. 2 -- Atkinson/Salmon (WF) vs. Graves/Reitz (NU), 8-8, unfinished
No. 3 -- Hopkins/Wolff (WF) def. McCarthy/Thams (NU), 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 3
No. 1 -- #10 Parr (WF) def. Dwyer (NU), 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 -- Forman (WF) def. Thams (NU), 6-1, 6-4
No. 3 -- Wolff (WF) def. Reitz (NU), 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 -- Hopkins (WF) vs. Graves (NU), 6-1, 1-2, unfinished
No. 5 -- Atkinson (WF) vs. Sanborn (NU), 7-5, 3-0, unfinished
No. 6 -- McCarthy (NU) vs. Morgenstern (WF), 6-5, unfinished
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3