March 2, 2011
No. 60 Northwestern (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 26 Oklahoma (5-2)
Friday, March 4
Gregg Wadley Tennis Center
Norman, Okla. 5 p.m. CT
No. 60 Northwestern (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 24 Notre Dame (8-6, 1-0 Big East)
Sunday, March 6
Eck Tennis Center
South Bend, Ind. 3 p.m. CT
Live Scoring: UND.com
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After wrapping up a 3-1 homestand to move to 8-3 on the year, No. 60 Northwestern heads to the road for matches against two top-30 squads. The 'Cats first depart for Big 12 country to take on No. 26 Oklahoma at 5 p.m. Friday before returning north to face No. 24 Notre Dame in South Bend in a Sunday matinee.
With convincing wins at Harvard and at William & Mary, the 'Cats have proven they can win on the road and will look to draw on that experience during a tough five-match road swing. Northwestern does not play another match at the Combe Tennis Center until Saturday, April 2.
Oklahoma (5-2) enters Friday's match in the midst of a three-match winning streak over quality opponents, including a victory against Big Ten foe Indiana and consecutive 4-3 outcomes vs. Arkansas and Oklahoma State. The Sooners, coached by John Roddick, are led in singles by senior and 28th-ranked Ionut Beleleu at the No. 1 line and by sophomore Costin Paval, who is ranked No. 59 and is 6-0 at the No. 2 spot.
Scouting Notre Dame
Last Time Out
The Fighting Irish (8-6) come into the weekend looking to avoid a third-straight loss when they take on Texas A&M at home Friday evening before facing NU on Sunday. As was the case a year ago when these two teams met, the No. 1 singles match will likely feature Notre Dame's Casey Watt and Northwestern's Joshua Graves, who upset then-No. 28 Watt back on March 27 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Graves' win wasn't enough, however, as UND won a 5-2 decision, a year after slipping pas the Wildcats by a 4-3 count in 2009.
For the second straight Friday night, Northwestern sophomore Spencer Wolf
was left to play an entire third set on his home courts knowing the outcome of his singles match would decide his team's fate on the evening. On this occasion, Wolf outlasted Western Michigan's Simon Blomberg in a dramatic third set, 7-5, to lift No. 67 NU to a 4-3 victory over the Broncos last Friday Evanston. Wolf, who also teamed with Joshua Graves
for their eighth dual win of the season at No. 1 doubles, is now 6-5 in dual singles contests.
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