10 matches, 10 doubles points, 10 wins.
With its 6-1 win over N.C. State on Friday afternoon, Northwestern men’s tennis set a program record with its 10-0 start, blowing through another power-conference opponent. The Wildcats took down the Wolfpack at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh to surpass the 1989 team’s previous top start of 9-0.
The key to Northwestern’s success this season has been that of its doubles teams. The No. 2 team — Strong Kirchheimer and Dominik Stary — won its match against Nick Horton and Alexis Galarneau 6-3, to improve its record to 7-1 on the season. Chris Ephron and Michael Lorenzini clinched the point with their own 6-3 win in the No. 3 doubles matchup.
The Wolfpack tied up the match at one point apiece when Galarneau beat Sam Shropshire at No. 2 singles but Northwestern won the next three matches — Stary, Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba -- to clinch the 4-1 overall victory.
In both singles and doubles, nationally ranked Kirchheimer (No. 25) and Stary have led the way for the Wildcats this season. Between their shared doubles and personal singles matches, the pair has only lost a total of eight times.
On Wednesday, the Wildcats moved up to No. 7 in the ITA national rankings, and opened up at No. 8 in the inaugural USTA rankings.
Northwestern doesn’t have a regulat season match next weekend as Arvid Swan’s team will head to Charlottesville, Va. to take part in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Wildcats will stay on the road the week after to take on Notre Dame in South Bend before coming back to Evanston for a doubleheader with Oklahoma State and UIC on February 26.