Doubles loss fuels singles sweep against Ball St. (Men Tennis)

Tania Ganguli and Tania Ganguli

In the second game of a long road stretch, the Northwestern men’s tennis team defeated Ball State 6-1 on Friday.

The Wildcats lost the doubles point, but then bounced back to sweep all six singles matches.

“Every time we lose in doubles it motivates us more to focus on singles,” junior Ahmed Wahla said.

The Cats won only one doubles match, with the No. 60 pair of senior Josh Axler and freshman Adam Schaechterle racking up their fifth-straight victory.

“We can be streaky,” Schaechterle said. “When we get on something like this, we get a lot of confidence and we’re tough to beat.”

The Cats put their sub-par doubles performance behind them and bounced back to win all of the singles matches.

“We’re obviously better players than they are,” sophomore Tommy Hanus said. “We won the match 6-1. It just didn’t come together in doubles.”

Hanus defeated Chris Varga 7-6, 6-3, extending his streak to seven-straight singles wins. He hasn’t lost a singles match since Jan. 19, when he fell to Raymond van Wasbeek of Northern Illinois.

“I felt in control the whole time,” Hanus said. “I was playing pretty poorly at first. There’s no way (the first set) should’ve been that close, but things don’t always work out the way you want them to.”

Wahla, who enjoyed playing on the faster Ball State courts that most of his teammates detested, made Ball State’s Paul Newman his fool, beating him 6-3, 6-2.

“My goal was to get off the court really quick and pump everyone up,” Wahla said. “I got up 4-0 in the first set and then didn’t give him a chance.”

Axler and sophomore Chuck Perrin beat their opponents in straight sets as well.

“I’ve been in a slump in singles,” Perrin said. “I really wanted to get after the win and take it to Ball State.”

Senior Jackie Jenkins was the most evenly matched with his opponent, going into extra games in the first and second set. The third set was decided by a tie breaker that Jenkins won 10-3, making his final score 7-5, 5-7, 1-0.

After getting a big win for his team at Notre Dame, Schaechterle said he had the confidence he needed to finish Ball State’s Brad Rhodes quickly and emphatically. But things didn’t go as the freshman had planned, as Rhodes won the second set.

“A couple points caused Adam to get down in the second set,” senior Russell Bennett said.

Schaechterle muscled through a long third set, finally winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.

“The toughest thing was we already had the match clinched,” Schaechterle said. “It was hard to get emotionally pumped up.”