May 10, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- No. 30 Northwestern's season ended in heartbreak in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as No. 38 Ole Miss beat the `Cats 4-1 in a very tight, even match. The `Cats finish 21-11 on the season.
NU put the first point on the board with two doubles wins to start the match. Sophomore Fedor Baev and freshman Strong Kirchheimer beat Joe Rogers and Johan Backstrom 8-5 at No. 3. The pair have been a reliable team for the `Cats this season and finished 14-7 overall.
The 39th-ranked duo of senior Raleigh Smith and sophomore Mihir Kumar then defeated their fourth ranked opponent of the season, No. 49 William Kallberg Stefan Lindmark. Their 8-5 victory at No. 1 secured the point for the Wildcats.
The Rebels then evened the score with Stefan Lindmark's victory at No. 3, where he beat freshman Konrad Zieba 6-2, 7-5. Kirchheimer battled back from a 5-0 deficit in the second set at No. 5, but his opponent Ricardo Jorge eventually prevailed 7-6, 6-3 to put Ole Miss ahead.
The remaining singles matches all pushed to three sets. Junior Alex Pasareanu had won his first set 6-1 at No. 6, but Vinod Gowda powered through to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. Kumar had also secured a first set win at No. 4, but Backstrom got the break in the third frame to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 and send the Rebels to the second round.
Play was abandoned at No. 1 and 2 when the match concluded. No. 49 Smith and No. 12 and SEC Player of the Year Nik Scholtz were in a fierce battle at the top spot. The match discontinued with Scholtz narrowly leading 7-5, 3-6, 4-2.
No. 107 freshman Sam Shropshire
and his opponent William Kallberg were also toe-to-toe at No. 2. Shropshire left the match down one game in the third, 7-5, 6-7, 5-6.
The season is not over for Smith, who will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships in two weeks. The senior received an at-large bid last week.
For more information, visit the tournament page.
#38 Ole Miss 4, #30 Northwestern 1
1. #39 Raleigh Smith / Mihir Kumar (NU) def. #49 William Kallberg / Stefan Lindmark (MISS) 8-5
2. Sam Shropshire / Alex Pasareanu (NU) vs. Nik Scholtz / Ricardo Jorge (MISS) 7-5 (unfinished)
3. Fedor Baev / Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Joe Rogers / Johan Backstrom (MISS) 8-5
Order of finish:3, 1*
1. #49 Raleigh Smith (NU) vs. #12 Nik Scholtz (MISS) 5-7, 6-3, 2-4 (unfinished)
2. #107 Sam Shropshire (NU) vs. William Kallberg (MISS) 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 5-6 (unfinished)
3. Stefan Lindmark (MISS) def. Konrad Zieba (NU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Johan Backstrom (MISS) def. Mihir Kumar (NU) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
5. Ricardo Jorge (MISS) def. Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
6. Vinod Gowda (MISS) def. Alex Pasareanu (NU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish:3, 5, 6, 4*
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