Northwestern men’s tennis entered 2016-17 with a lot of promise. Unfortunately, things have just not gone their way in close matches this season.
After cruising past Michigan State 4-0 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, No. 23 Northwestern (21-10) lost to No. 31 Wisconsin (17-7) 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
Critically, Northwestern were crushed in doubles against Wisconsin as Zieba and Shropshire lost 6-2 and the Ephron/Lorenzini pairing lost 6-1. That early point proved critical as it negated two straight-set wins from Northwestern’s No. 1 and No. 2 tennis players, Strong Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba.
Wisconsin’s Chema Carranza defeated Sam Shropshire 6-4, 6-4 and Osgar O’Hoisin defeated Dominik Stary in a third set tiebreak. O’Hoisin dramatically recovered from a first set bagel to stun Stary and the Wildcats. The two losses set up Wisconsin’s Chase Colton to defeat Ben Vandixhorn 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, which sealed the tie.
Behind star player Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 4-0 in the semifinals and won the Big Ten Tournament over Michigan.
After Wisconsin’s upset win, Northwestern will hope to rebound when the NCAA Tournament Regionals begin on May 12. Northwestern will learn where it plays later this week.