Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

50° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Men’s Tennis: Season ends with no Big Ten victories

Northwestern knew it needed to play its best tennis to advance past the first round of the Big Ten tournament. But Indiana smothered NU from the start, taking 12 out of 13 sets in a 4-0 victory Thursday.

The lone bright spot for the Wildcats came courtesy of No. 5 freshman Andrew McCarthy, who pulled out a tough second set against an unlikely opponent: his brother Michael McCarthy, a senior for the Hoosiers.

But the McCarthy siblings’ match went unfinished after Indiana clinched.

It was the Wildcats’ second loss to the Hoosiers this season.

“It was a really uncomfortable situation (playing my brother),” McCarthy said. “We wanted to compete hard and play our best, and I think that’s what we did.”

In NU’s previous dual against Indiana, the Cats managed to take the doubles point. But the Hoosiers made sure it didn’t happen again.

McCarthy and graduate student Alexander Thams lost their first match since pairing up earlier this month. The 8-5 defeat forced NU to win the remaining two matches if it wanted to take the doubles point, but freshmen David Seyferth and Peter Rispoli were unable to hold on, falling 8-5.

Their loss, McCarthy said, gave Indiana the momentum it needed to sweep through singles.

“The doubles point kind of put us in a sticky situation,” McCarthy said. “It put us in a 0-1 hole.”

No. 1 junior Marc Dwyer, No. 2 sophomore Alex Sanborn and Rispoli, who played No. 4 singles, got off to slow starts in individual play. Dwyer lost 6-3, 6-3, while Sanborn and Rispoli each dropped 6-2, 6-1 matches.

Three weeks ago, Rispoli earned a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win – his first Big Ten singles victory – against Indiana’s Lachlan Ferguson. But in the tournament, Ferguson attacked more and took advantage of the faster indoor court.

“Peter Rispoli did not come out to play as well as I think I could have,” Rispoli said. “(Ferguson) put more balls in play and it didn’t work out too well.”

Rispoli’s loss capped an NU season filled with disappointment. The Cats finished with a 7-17 overall record, including an 0-11 mark in the conference.

NU will keep most of its lineup intact next season, and coach Arvid Swan brought in the nation’s No. 11 recruiting class heading into the 2008-09 season, according to TennisRecruiting.net.

“It was a tough match,” Swan said. “Obviously we would have liked to have won one.”

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Men’s Tennis: Season ends with no Big Ten victories