March 22, 2012
No. 53 Northwestern (7-6, 0-1 Big Ten) vs. Iowa (1-11, 0-1 Big Ten)
Friday, March 23
Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex
Iowa City, Iowa 1:30 p.m.
No. 53 Northwestern (7-6, 0-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 59 Nebraska (7-7, 0-1 Big Ten)
Sunday, March 25
Nebraska Varsity Courts
Lincoln, Neb. Noon
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After more than three weeks away from competition, No. 53 Northwestern looks to kickstart the second-half of the spring slate with a pair of conference road tests. The 'Cats travel to Iowa City for a Friday bout with Iowa at 1:30 p.m. before traveling further west on Interstate 80 to take on new Big Ten opponent, No. 59 Nebraska at noon on Sunday.
Raleigh Keeps Rolling
Sophomore Raleigh Smith leads the Wildcats this season with 10 wins in singles play. The Florida native opened the spring with seven straight victories. He has won five times at No. 4, four times at No. 3 and once at No. 5. Smith has also teamed with Alex Pasareanu to post seven doubles wins.
Northwestern has received strong contributions to its lineup from a pair of freshmen this spring. Nikhil Jayashankar has won seven singles matches, while classmate Alex Pasareanu has earned six victories. Six of Jayashankar's successes have come at the No. 6 spot, while Pasareanu has collected five of his six victories at No. 5. Their wins account for 31 percent of NU's team total this spring.
The Unwavering Wolf
Two Wildcats were teammates even before coming to Evanston. Chris Jackman and Raleigh Smith were teammates at Gulliver Prep in Miami, Fla. The school won state championships in three of four seasons in which Jackman played and all four years that Smith attended (Smith is a year younger). Jackman was the Florida Player of the Year in 2008 and Smith was a three-time individual champion.
Junior Spencer Wolf
has emerged as one of the most consistent threats in Northwestern's lineup this year. The Floridian has won matches at each of the top three singles lines, with five of his nine singles wins coming at No. 3. Additionally, Wolf owns a stellar 3-0 record on the No. 2 line. He's also won six doubles matches with Josh Graves
and another three with Eric Spector
. All totaled, Wolf has a combined record of 18-7 this spring.
Scouting the Hawkeyes
Iowa (1-11, 0-1) enters the weekend looking for just their second win of the season. Most recently, the Hawkeyes dropped three contests in the Rice Invitational to No. 63 Tulane, No. 64 Rice and No. 34 Memphis, respectively.
Boasting a good mix of upper- and underclassmen, Iowa is led by junior Garret Dunn, who has amassed a team-best six singles wins and five doubles wins. Northwestern holds the series lead with the Hawkeyes, 54-27 advantage. The last time the two collided on the courts, April 8, 2011, NU upended the then-57th-ranked Iowa squad in Iowa City, 5-2.
Scouting the Huskers
The 59th-ranked Huskers (7-7, 0-1) host Northwestern, looking for their first ever Big Ten win. Nebraska is just 1-4 in their previous five contests, including a 6-1 loss to then-No. 18 Illinois in Lincoln. UNL claims two ranked singles players in seniors Christopher Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim.
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