Feb. 16, 2012
No. 64 Northwestern (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 59 New Mexico (6-2, 0-0 MWC)
Saturday, February 18
Combe Tennis Center
Evanston, Ill. 11 a.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Well into the thick of nonconference play, Northwestern looks to continue its home dominance by hosting the New Mexico Lobos at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Combe Tennis Center.
The match is designated as a USTA Campus Kids Day event, which aims to familiarize current and aspiring junior players -- and their parents and coaches -- to collegiate tennis. Fans are encouraged to enjoy free admission, free pizza and a serving contest between doubles and singles play.
NU has only one loss in Evanston this season, outscoring opponents 24-4 in its four wins while in the comforts of home. In a true team effort, several players have made big impacts this year, including a couple of freshman in Alex Pasareanu (Bluffton, S.C./Heritage Academy) and Nikhil Jayashankar (Saratoga, Calif./Saratoga).
Pasareanu and Jayashankar have held down the Nos. 5 and 6 spots, respectively, combining to achieve an 11-4 singles record in their debuts. Sophomore Raleigh Smith (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep), who has seen the most time at No. 4 this spring, leads the team with his 7-1 record, including a win over nationally ranked Vikram Reddy of Alabama.
Senior Josh Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) has played well thus far for the `Cats, posting a 6-2 overall record, including a 5-1 record at the No. 2 spot. Graves and junior Spencer Wolf (Coral Springs, Fla./Laurel Springs) are paired as the No. 1 doubles team, earning six wins. Pasareanu and Smith make up the No. 2 slot, also bringing home six wins to only two losses this season. There has been some variation at No. 3 doubles, but Sidarth Balaji (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) and Tobias Reitz (Reinbeck, Germany/Sachsenwaldschule Reinbeck) have found a nice rhythm, earning a 4-1 mark this spring.
The Lobos, ranked 59th in the nation, feature a wide range of lineups across the board. Carl Ho and Jadon Phillips have split time at No. 1 singles, combining for six wins. Conor Berg, who sits at No. 4, leads the team with eight wins, including four in a row.
Of UNM's six wins, four have been by a 7-0 decision, and the team's most recent win came by a 6-1 verdict over Southern Alabama. The Lobos, however, have only played two matches away from Albuquerque, falling to Florida and Miami (Fla.) in Gainesville, Fla, 7-0 and 4-3, respectively.
This marks the fifth time the Wildcats and Lobos will meet, with New Mexico taking all four of the previous matches. The last time the two squads took to the same court was 1984, when UNM beat NU, 6-0.
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