Feb. 20, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After a tough loss on the road to No. 25 Notre Dame, Northwestern (8-1) returns home this weekend to face Western Michigan and No. 48 Harvard on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The 'Cats will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season and continue their unbeaten (7-0) streak at home.
Saturday's dual against Western Michigan is also U.S. Cellular day. The first 200 fans will receive a free U.S. Cellular visor.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
Western Michigan (8-3) is coming off a split weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, where it defeated Illinois State, 7-0, but fell to No. 57 Iowa, 7-0. Sophomore Michael Calderone leads the team with a 20-8 overall record in singles.
The Broncos are extremely strong at the top two spots in doubles. Calderone and Zeyad Montasser were nationally ranked at the start of the season and have a 9-2 dual match record. Casey Cullen and Kevin Hayward hold an 8-3 dual record, playing primarily at No. 2.
Prior to facing the Wildcats, Western Michigan will play DePaul Friday evening at Lakeshore Athletic Club.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON
Fresh off winning the title at the inaugural ECAC Division I Men's Indoor Tennis championship, Harvard enters the weekend with a 4-1 record in duals. En route to the title, the Crimson defeated St. John's, Penn and Columbia. They are facing a weekend of Big Ten play as they face No. 19 Michigan Friday evening before they head to Evanston to square off against the `Cats on Sunday.
Senior Sasha Ermakov and freshman Davis Mangham led the Crimson to the ECAC title with undefeated records at their respective singles spots. Ermakov posted a 3-0 mark at No. 2 and Mangham went 2-0 and No. 5 singles.
The Wildcats have a 44-5 all-time record against the Broncos in dual matches. During the fall tournament season, several players from the two teams faced off at the Wildcat Fall Invitational and the `Cats emerged with a 3-2 edge.
The Crimson hold a 5-3 lead on the Wildcats in the all-time series. The two teams did not meet last year, but Northwestern won the last two meetings, in 2007 and 2006.
LAST TIME OUT
Northwestern dropped an agonizing 4-3 decision to No. 25 Notre Dame Thursday evening at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The loss snapped the Wildcats' eight-match season-opening winning streak.
After losing the doubles point, the Wildcats fell behind 3-1 before clawing their way back to even it at 3-3 and almost post the upset over the Fighting Irish. Senior Marc Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga./University of Nebraska-Independent Study H.S.) pulled off a stunning, three-set victory over 18th-ranked Brett Helgeson.
The doubles tandem of Joshua Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) and Alex Sanborn (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) remained undefeated with their victory at No. 2, but the `Cats were unable to pull out the doubles point.
NU's three points came thanks to singles victories by Dwyer at No. 1, Tobias Reitz (Reinbeck, Germany/Sachsenwaldschule Reinbeck) at No. 2 and Graves at No. 6.