Men’s Tennis: Northwestern looks for strong finish after up-and-down March


Daily file photo by David Lee

Northwestern huddles prior to the start of a match. The Wildcats, currently led by associate head coach Chris Klingemann, have won three of six matches since coach Arvid Swan’s absence began.

Alison Albelda, Reporter

Things have been tumultuous for Northwestern during the absence of head coach Arvid Swan as the team has failed so far to get back to .500.

Associate head coach Chris Klingemann has assumed head coaching duties since Swan began a personal leave of absence in early March.

The Wildcats (7-11, 2-2 Big Ten) have won three of their past six matches, with two victories against fellow conference foes, but remain well off the pace set by last year’s 22-11 team.

Every loss in the past month has been a blowout. No. 6 Illinois and Texas Tech each dominated NU in 4-0 wins, and Iowa cruised to a 4-1 victory as well.

Wins against Indiana and Nebraska are reminiscent of last year’s success. That Cats team also emerged victorious against the Hawkeyes, however, something this roster could not pull off Sunday.

Iowa first captured the doubles point, with its top pair defeating NU’s junior-freshman combo of Michael Lorenzini and Nick Brookes 6-0 and its second pair recording a 6-4 victory.

Three singles matches also went in favor of the Hawkeyes, with wins at the No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds. Brookes and fellow freshman AJ Joshi had their matches go unfinished, despite both leading in their third sets.

The lone victor against the Hawkeyes, sophomore Dominik Starý, provided a silver lining for the team while occupying the No. 1 spot in the Cats’ lineup. Starý defeated Iowa’s Piotr Smietana 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets.

Brookes, who holds the No. 2 spot for the team, has also put up impressive performances recently despite his unfinished match Sunday. He held a 4-0 record in his first four matches of the dual season.

With seven matches remaining before the end of the season — all against conference competition — NU will need a strong finish to equal last season’s 7-4 Big Ten record.

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