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Quick start boosts Northwestern men’s tennis to easy win over Nebraska

This one was never in question.


On a day in which one of the best teams in program history was honored at the Crown Tennis Center, Northwestern men’s tennis played some of their best tennis of the season, easily dispatching Nebraska in a clean 7-0 sweep.

The Wildcats (16-7, 4-2 Big Ten) used a doubles point win — propelled by a 22-minute, 6-1 victory at No. 3 doubles — to cruise past the Cornhuskers (4-14, 0-6 Big Ten) in a match that was never in doubt. Doubles play was exciting, however, as the No. 42 ranked team of Sam Shropshire and Konrad Zieba won a tight 6-4 clinching set that was notable because it was Shropshire’s first action since March 3rd.

After that match ended, the 1997 team was honored in a short ceremony commemorating its run to the Sweet 16. As expected, it received a hearty welcome from the partisan crowd. Then, once the former players retreated to the stands, singles play begun, which was all Northwestern.

Even without usual No. 1 player Strong Kirchheimer in the lineup, the Wildcats only dropped one singles set as impressive wins from Zieba, Dominik Stary and Brenden Volk — his first career Big Ten win — gave Northwestern the needed 4-0 advantage.

Both teams agreed to finish the remaining matches, and the Wildcats won those three as well. Even Shropshire, who lost his opening set 6-4, battled back to win 7-5 in the second and take a final set tiebreaker.

Northwestern, currently sitting at No. 21 in the national rankings, has now won five of its last six matches and is looking better prepared for the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments every match.

The Wildcats will close out the weekend on Sunday afternoon against Iowa in Evanston while Nebraska, losers of six straight, head south to Champaign for a meeting with Illinois.