Early on, Northwestern men’s tennis looked on course for another disappointing loss, but the team fought back from losing the doubles point to win 5-2 against Texas Tech on Sunday.
Northwestern (12-6), had lost six of its last seven contests heading into its final early-season non-conference matchup with unranked Texas Tech at home. After a dispiriting 4-1 loss to in-state rivals Illinois two days before, you would think Northwestern needed to start off well to defend home court against the Red Raiders. That did not happen, as Northwestern continued its disturbing trend of dropping the doubles point. Jolan Calieau and Carlos DiLaura defeated Strong Kirchheimer and Dominik Stary 7-5 at No. 2 doubles, and the No. 3 pairing of Chris Ephron and Michael Lorenzini lost to Jackson Cobb and Alex Sendegaya.
The hole got even bigger for Northwestern as Texas Tech’s Bjorn Thomson quickly beat Stary 6-2, 6-3. Northwestern was now down 2-0, but Kirchheimer and Zieba both won in straight sets to level the tie at 2-2. Then, the Wildcats finally got some tiebreak luck that had escaped them during the losing streak. No. 6 Jason Seidman took a second-set tiebreak 7-3 to finish off Carlos DiLaura
At No. 4, Ben Vandixhorn won the first set 6-2 over Alex Sendegaya, but then lost the second set 2-6. Vandixhorn won a tight third set 6-4 to give Northwestern the victory. Brenden Volk was pushed to a deciding tiebreak by Jackson Cobb despite winning the first set 6-1. In the breaker, Volk managed to win 7-4, extending Northwestern’s lead to 5-2.
Northwestern men’s tennis has a long break ahead, and will not play again until Big Ten season starts with a home contest against Purdue on March 24.