The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Tennis: Northwestern falls to Penn State, Ohio State

Nick+Brookes+hits+a+shot.+The+freshman+said+he+learned+important+lessons+from+Northwestern%E2%80%99s+decisive+loss+to+Ohio+State+on+Sunday.+
Nick Brookes hits a shot. The freshman said he learned important lessons from Northwestern’s decisive loss to Ohio State on Sunday.

Nick Brookes hits a shot. The freshman said he learned important lessons from Northwestern’s decisive loss to Ohio State on Sunday.

(Daily file photo by Alison Albelda)

(Daily file photo by Alison Albelda)

Nick Brookes hits a shot. The freshman said he learned important lessons from Northwestern’s decisive loss to Ohio State on Sunday.

Alison Albelda, Reporter

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Men’s Tennis


This weekend, Northwestern suffered two tough losses against Big Ten opponents Penn State and Ohio State.

Friday night featured a 6-1 loss for the Wildcats against the No. 46 Nittany Lions (14-10, 4-5). The second match of the weekend ended with a 7-0 defeat against the No. 3 Buckeyes (24-2, 9-0) on Sunday.

Coach Arvid Swan, shortly after coaching his first two matches since returning from a leave of absence, came away with an optimistic attitude despite the two losses.

“We are going to be in good positions in the future,” Swan said. “We have two home matches coming up, and as long as we stay focused on improvement and not getting too down if we lose a few matches, I think we are alright. But that’s tennis: a few points can determine a match.”

The lone victor for NU (9-14, 4-5) on Friday was sophomore Chris Ephron. The No. 6 singles seed won his individual match in straight sets — 6-2, 6-3 — and clinched a 6-4 victory in the No. 3 doubles seed with his partner, freshman Antonioni Fasano.

The victory by the Cats duo was not enough to obtain the doubles point, however, after NU’s other two doubles teams lost their matches. Teammates Nick Brookes, a freshman, and Jason Seidman, a junior, narrowly lost their matchup 7-5.

The other doubles loss came from sophomore Dominik Starý and junior Ben Vandixhorn, who fell 6-3.

Ephron stressed the importance of securing wins in doubles points, especially given how close some of the points were. He also said his singles victory on Friday occurred because he got ahead of Penn State’s Zach Lieb early, setting the tone for the match, and that he plans on using this weekend as motivation.

“It was a tough weekend overall,” Ephron said. “But I think it is going to motivate everybody and everybody is going to be a little fired up to have a good practice throughout this whole week and come out strong this next weekend for two more tough matches.”

Sunday’s match against Ohio State proved why the Buckeyes are the best in the Big Ten, with five of the Buckeyes’ six singles players ranked in the top 100 nationally.

The Cats lost every match but one in straight sets — Seidman won the first set of his singles match. One of NU’s few close matches came at No. 2 doubles, where Seidman and Brookes faced the No. 70-ranked Ohio State duo of Mikael Torpegaard and John McNally and fell 6-4.

Brookes spoke highly of the Buckeyes and the caliber of competition given their high ranking and consistency. He said he learns more from his losses than his wins.

“When you play the best players, they are able to expose you slightly more,” Brookes said. “That is where you learn where your flaws are, and from there, you can work on them and go forward. And that is what we are going to try and do now.”

He said the team aims to emulate the Ohio State program, which has won the Big Ten championship for 12 consecutive years and is posed to win it again this year.

“Ohio State is a great team to base ourselves (off) and view where we want to be next year or the year after,” Brookes said. “It gives us a goal to achieve, which is nice when you are putting in the hard hours during the day.”

Email: alisonalbelda2021@u.northwestern.edu

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